Knowledge About Head and Neck Cancer in the Population of Vojvodina: A Comparative Study
In 2009, the Institute of Oncology of Vojvodina reported the total of 553 newly registered patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) in the Province of Vojvodina, with a lethal outcome in 332 HNC patients. These facts impose the need of investigating the health education of the general population and proposing possible prevention measures. The present prospective study included 200 subjects classified into two groups. Group I (100 subjects) consisted of randomly selected adults from urban and rural regions of Vojvodina. Group II (100 subjects) included the adults from the same regions affected by HNC. All subjects answered the anonymous questionnaire which complied with the standards of a similar European Union research project “About Face”. The results showed that 96% of the subjects from the Group II and only 77% of the subjects from the Group I were familiar with the term ’’head and neck cancer” what represented a significant difference. The results from Vojvodina were significantly better than those from the European study (23%). Most subjects were informed about HNC through television programs (60%), hospital leaflets (41%) or internet (37%). Both the patients and the citizens of Vojvodina were better informed about the most common localizations of HNC - pharynx and larynx, but less informed about other HNC localizations than the citizens of seven European countries. The citizens and the HNC patients from Vojvodina were equally well informed about some risk factors (e.g. smoking, alcoholism, aging and sun exposure) as the citizens in Europe. Both the patients and the general population of Vojvodina are mostly worried about the consequences/side effects of the applied surgical treatment. The obtained results may be a good starting point in the prevention and early detection of HNC in Vojvodina.
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