Public Perceptions of the Role of Lifestyle Factors in Cancer Development: Results from the Spanish Onco-Barometer 2020
MetadataShow full item record
Cancer preventionPerceptionsLifestyle habitsRisk factorsPublic knowledgeAwarenessPopulation-based survey
Petrova, D.; Borrás, J.M.; Pollán, M.; Bayo Lozano, E.; Vicente, D.; Jímenez Moleón, J.J.; Sánchez, M.J. Public Perceptions of the Role of Lifestyle Factors in Cancer Development: Results from the Spanish Onco-Barometer 2020. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10472. https://doi.org/10.3390/ ijerph181910472
SponsorshipCancer Observatory of the Spanish Association against Cancer; Cancer Epidemiological Surveillance Subprogram (VICA) of the CIBERESP, Health Institute Carlos III, Madrid, Spain; Health Institute Carlos III (Expde: CD19/00203); Juan de la Cierva Fellowship from the Ministry of Science and the National Research Agency (MCIN/AEI, JC2019- 039691-I, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100011033, 3 October 2021).
The European Code against Cancer recommends not to smoke, to avoid alcohol consumption, to eat a healthy diet, and maintain a healthy weight to prevent cancer. To what extent is the public aware of the influence of these lifestyle factors on cancer development? The goal of the current study was to describe the perceived influence of four lifestyle factors (tobacco, alcohol, diet, and weight) on cancer development in the general population and identify factors related to low perceptions of influence. We analyzed data from the 2020 Onco-barometer (n = 4769), a representative population-based survey conducted in Spain. With the exception of smoking, lifestyle factors were among those with the least perceived influence, more so among the demographic groups at higher risk from cancer including men and older individuals (65+ years). Individuals from lower socio-economic groups were more likely to report not knowing what influence lifestyle factors have on cancer. Lower perceived influence was also consistently related to perceiving very low risk from cancer. Overall, although there is variation in perceptions regarding the different lifestyle factors, low perceived influence clusters among those at higher risk for cancer. These results signal the need for public health campaigns and messages informing the public about the preventive potential of lifestyle factors beyond avoiding tobacco consumption.