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Effect of a health education program on cancer awareness among college students: Responding to the challenges of cancer control in India

Shubhra Gupta, Meeta Jain, Pritam Roy, Dipshikha Maiti.


Background: Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide. One of the most cost effective strategies identified for better cancer control is emphasis on health education.

Aims & Objective: This study was undertaken to explore knowledge and awareness of the students of degree colleges about cancer and also to assess the impact of health education on improving awareness about cancer on these students.
Material and Methods: The study is a descriptive interventional study with pre and post intervention evaluation. Knowledge about cancer was assessed before and after a short lecture with the help of predesigned, pre tested, semi structured proforma. A total of 563 students were included in the study.

Results: Knowledge about cancer was found to be lacking among students as assessed in various spheres such as epidemiology (59.86%), clinical features (22.75%), diagnosis (41.0%)), treatment (41.39%) and preventive measures (63.94%). Statistically significant improvement in knowledge was found after health education. The percentage of students with poor knowledge was reduced from 43.16% to only 18.47% following health education.

Conclusion: The method of health education through group approach should be applied at community level because health education is an effective tool to increase the knowledge and awareness regarding cancer.

Key words: Cancer; Awareness; Health Education; College Students; India

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