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Original Article

Public awareness of risk factors of gastric cancer and attitude toward disease screening in Saudi Arabia

Mohammed N Aldosari, Sulaiman D Almasoud, Ohoud A Alobaid, Ahmed A Alrukban, Abdulrahman K Alajlan, Nouf Z Almutairi, Abdullatif A Alnaaim.


Background and Aim: Although the incidence of gastric cancer is falling worldwide, it is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality and the fourth most common cancer globally. The study aims to assess the public level of awareness of risk factors of gastric cancer and attitude toward disease screening among general population in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study using a pre-tested questionnaire through social media applications was used to assess participants awareness of gastric cancer.

Results: Total of 1410 respondents were included in this study and among them 858 (60.9%) were females and most of them were aged between 19 years to 29 years, 843 (59.8%). Respondents’ perception of self-risk of gastric cancer were 693 (49.1%) had very low risk, 574 (40.7%) had low risk, 137 (9.7%) had average risk, and the remaining six respondents (0.4%) had high risk. Study participants were aware of ‘chronic infection’ as the most powerful risk factor, 764 (54.2%). Regarding the usefulness of regular gastric cancer screening, 1011 (71.7%) answered ‘very useful’ but only 30 (2.1%) undergo regular screening for gastric cancer. Respondents’ age, health status, smoking habit, drinking habit, consumption of salty food, and consumption of spicy food were statistically significantly characteristics associated with their ‘self-risk’ of gastric cancer.

Conclusions: The study showed low level of knowledge of gastric cancer risk factors in Saudi Arabia, but it indicates positive attitude towards screening with only 30 respondents undergoing regular screening.

Key words: Gastric cancer, Saudi Arabia, Public awareness, gastric cancer screening.

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