Assessment of Knowledge, Perception, Attitude, Risk Factors Prevention, and Treatment Options of Cancer among Natives in Elgon Sub-Region, Uganda

Author(s): Ali Kudamba, Shaban A Okurut, Hussein M Kafeero, Hakim Nsubuga, Abdul Walusansa, Jamilu E. Ssenku

Background: Globally, cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality and most cancers are due to infections and so, are preventable. Earlier studies revealed that several cancers could be preventable through intensified healthcare education but there is limited information in regards to the Elgon sub-region. Therefore, our study was aimed at assessing cancer indigenous knowledge among natives in the Elgon sub-region.

Method: Mixed methods research design was adopted. A total of 73 participants, selected through the snowball sampling technique were involved. Data collection was done through pretested questionnaires. MedCalc version, 20.008 was used for data analysis, and results were presented in tables and figures.

Result: The majority of the study participants were males (58%), aged between 46 – 55 years (58%), Ugandans (90%), and married (67%). Most of them had inadequate knowledge about cancer (p<0.05) and highlighted sores that slightly heal at any body parts as well as blood in feces as putative predictors of cancer infection (p<0.005). A total of nine cancer types were documented and cervical was the most prevalent (p<0.0001). Smoking was the most pronounced cancer-associated risk factor (p<0.0001) and avoiding smoking was perceived as the major prevention option (p<0.0001). No cancer treatment options in cancer treatment cited in this area (p<0.172).

Conclusion: The natives had limited knowledge and poor perception of cancer due to low literacy levels. Therefore, there is a need to intensify cancer health education programs through word of mouth and radio talk shows. The plant medicinal plant used in cancer treatment needs to be documented.

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