Gender differences in knowledge of testicular cancer among students at a South African university

SOURCE: Palliative Medicine and Nursing
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.Setswe, R.Marindo, D.Ilic
KEYWORDS: KNOWLEDGE LEVEL, MEN, TESTICULAR CANCER
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8467
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/2122
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/2122

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Abstract

Testicular cancer (TC) is the most common form of cancer among men. Lack of knowledge of male cancers is a major contributor to delays in seeking care for cancer symptoms and prevention of TC. The focus on this study was to examine gender differences in knowledge of testicular cancer (TC) and testicular self-examination (TSE) among students at an African university. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among male and female university students. A total of 1,300 first year students were approached to participate and 976 (44.8% = male and 55.2% = female accepted; giving a response rate of 75.1%. A chi square test was used to examine the differences between male and female respondents in terms of knowledge of male cancers, TC and TSE. Only 54.2% of the sample had ever heard of male cancers. Knowledge of TC and TSE was quite low, with only 40% ever hearing of testicular cancer. Only 22% of the sample had ever heard of TSE and 15% identified a lump as a correct symptom of TC. Only 9% knew that there was some genetic predisposition to TC and 22% correctly identified the correct age-groups at risk for TC. Overall, males had significantly higher levels of awareness (p<.001). However, there was no significant association between gender and knowledge of at least one correct symptom, at least one correct, correctly identifying the ages at risk of TC and methods of preventing TC. While males are more aware of male cancers and TC compared to women, their knowledge appears to be more general in nature. Male knowledge of specific aspects of TC which include knowledge of at least one correct symptom, knowledge of the ages at risk of TC and knowledge of at least one correct cause of TC did not statistically differ from that of females.