Lack of awareness of oesophageal carcinoma among the public in Ireland

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Abstract

Background

Oesophageal cancer is advanced in the majority at presentation and its symptoms are usually present for many months suggesting poor awareness of its symptoms. Few studies have examined awareness of oesophageal cancer amongst the public.

Aims

This study aimed to identify the level of awareness among the general public of oesophageal cancer, of its symptoms, of its awareness campaigns and to compare it with other common cancers.

Methods

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 279 members of the public. People were asked about their awareness of a range of cancers, and their knowledge of cancer symptoms and cancer awareness campaigns.

Results

Awareness of oesophageal cancer was low and knowledge of its symptoms was even lower. Despite the efforts of awareness campaigns, knowledge of these campaigns was poor amongst the public.

Conclusion

Awareness of oesophageal cancer and its symptoms is low amongst the public. This needs to be addressed if disease is to be detected at an earlier and curable stage.

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