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Cypriots ‘need to know more’ about cancer

A Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends study has found that only one in five people on the island feel they know enough about the disease.

Using a sample of 1,000 people and carried out with the support of the University of Cyprus’ ‘Insights Market Research’ (IMR), the study also found that only one in ten of the subjects had never gone for a routine health check-up.

The main aim of the study was the gauge public awareness about Gastrointestinal Cancer but the findings revealed a wider problem of lack of awareness about all types of cancer.

Specifically, the study found that only 21% of the respondents felt they were informed about cancer to a significant degree, 46% to quite a good degree, and 28% to a small degree, while 5% said they felt they were not at all informed.

When it came to Gastrointestinal Cancer in particular, four out of every 10 respondents said they knew very little about this type of cancer.

A worrying find was that 10% of the respondents said they had never gone for a routine health check-up, 8% said they have not had a check-up for over four years, and 29% said they have a check-up every two to three years.  Just over half, at 53%, said they had check-ups every year.

Nine out of 10 participants also said they believed there had been an increase in cancer diagnoses in Cyprus over recent years while eight out of 10 listed cancer as the country’s most prevalent disease.

When asked what factors they believed contributed to cancer, a poor diet was chosen by 64% of the participants, increased stress levels by 43%, hereditary factors by 33%, smoking by 25%, environmental factors by 18%, a sedentary lifestyle by 13%, reduced exercise levels by 11%, and age by 5%. Participants were able to choose more than one factor.

The Association hopes to use the data collected though the study to form a strategy to better prevent Gastrointestinal Cancer and improve the quality of life of patients.

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