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Abstract

KNOWLEDGE OF ESOPHAGEAL CANCER IN MAJMAAH CITY, SAUDI ARABIA

Fahad Al. Qahtani*, Ahmed Al. Eidan, Abdullah Al. Subhi, Abdulrahman Al. Enezi, Abdulmajeed Al. Anazi and Pervez Iqbal

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide.[1] Esophageal cancer including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma is considered as a serious malignancy with respect to prognosis and a fatal outcome in the majority of cases. Methods and materials: This study was a crosssectional study. Data were gathered from 143 participants aged 18 years and above, from Majmaah city. The project took about 2 months to be completed (June / 2016 – July / 2016). Results: The participants were divided to 3 age groups and the most preventable age group was from 30 to 49 years old with 43.4% of participants. In terms of risk factors, 49.7% thought that smoking tobacco was the only risk factor, 29.4% alcohol, 7% family history and 3.5 longstanding heart burn with nearly half of patients (49%) didn't know any. Most participants (61.5%) didn't know any symptom of esophageal cancer while the majority who did (31.5%), accurately stated difficulty of swallowing as the most common symptom. Regarding cancer treatment options, 49.7% thought that non-surgical therapy was the treatment of choice, while 40.6% had no idea. The second to come treatment option was surgery (4.2%) followed by herbal therapy (2.1%) with 3.5% thought it has no cure at all. The relation between age and esophageal cancer knowledge variables was statistically significant throughout different age groups in the knowledge of both risk factors and treatment options of esophageal cancer with p-values of 0.043 and 0.001, respectively. The relation between gender and esophageal cancer knowledge variables was statistically significant in the knowledge of associated symptoms. Conclusion: The study concluded our targeted population had relatively good, yet promising level of knowledge of cancer. However, they varied identifying different variables of esophageal cancer. A positive statistical relationship was found between esophageal cancer knowledge with age and gender.

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