1. Department of Medical-Surgical College of Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
2. Department community and mental health, college of nursing, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
3. Department of Nursing Administration & Education, College of Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
4. Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia
5. Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
6. Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
Background: Cancer is becoming more common, regardless of gender or type. Cancer was determined to be the leading cause of death, with lung cancer (LC) patients having the highest rate of cancer-related deaths. The purpose of this study was to analyze undergraduates' knowledge and awareness of LC early warning signs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: Between May and September 2022, a cross-sectional, prospective paper-based survey-type study was conducted among undergraduates (n=202) from the faculty of pharmacy and nursing at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The data was gathered from third and fourth-year undergraduates. The statistical package for social science (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, U.S.) was used to perform the analysis.
Results: The mean age of the undergraduates was 22.47 ± 2.35(SD) years. Most of them were from nursing 54% (n=109), while 46% (n=93) belonged to a pharmacy. In terms of awareness of warning signs of lung cancer, 48.6% of the students believed that unexplained weight loss, followed by persistent chest infection (36.6%) and cough that does not go away easily (37.6%). Over 45.1 % of students opted that coughing up blood, pain during the cough (46.5%), and worsening or change in an existing cough (42.1%) were reported as a sign of LC. In this study, the overall good awareness score was 60(29.7%). The awareness was significantly associated with gender (p = 0.0001), the course of study (p=0.018), the educational level (p = 0.003), smoking cigarettes (p = 0.003), and chronic disease status (p = 0.0001).
Conclusion: Undergraduates attending university in this study indicated various levels of awareness of LC symptoms. The undergraduate's educational background, study program, and gender all greatly influence their level of awareness. It is necessary to inform future medical professionals about this growing condition.
Keywords: Lung cancer, Coughing, awareness, Risk factors, Treatment, Saudi Arabia.