Lack of awareness of oesophageal carcinoma among the public in Ireland

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BackgroundOesophageal 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.AimsThis 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.MethodsFace-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.ResultsAwareness 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.ConclusionAwareness 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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