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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, pp. 122-128
Bioline Code: hs13019
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, pp. 122-128

 en Esophageal cancer awareness in Bomet district, Kenya
Duron, V; Bii, J; Mutai, R; Ngetich, J; Harrington, D; Parker, R & White R


Background: Esophageal cancer is the most common malignancy in Western Kenya and patients present with advanced disease.
Objective:To determine baseline level of knowledge of esophageal cancer in Bomet District in order to develop targeted and effective educational classes.
Methods:A questionnaire with twelve questions testing knowledge about esophageal cancer and eight questions aimed at determining barriers to healthcare was conducted out of Tenwek Hospital from June to July 2010.
Results:Eighty-one questionnaires were completed. 33% thought that cancer is a virus and 35% thought that it is contagious. 47% did not think that family history is a risk factor. 79% accurately claimed dysphagia as the most common symptom for esophageal cancer. 40% thought that herbal therapy is the optimal treatment for esophageal cancer. Cost and fear of diagnosis were cited as the most significant barriers to healthcare. Most participants had a monthly income of less than 3000 Kenyan schillings (37.5 US dollars); for 37% of participants, the cost of transport to the hospital represented a third of their monthly income.
Conclusion:The questionnaire provided population-specific information on cancer knowledge and aided in targeting barriers to healthcare access. These factors will be incorporated into the cancer education outreach program of Tenwek Hospital.

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