Awareness of nursing students towards cancer and their comparison with medical students


  • Radhika S. Department of Pathology, Karuna Medical College, Chittur, Kerala, India
  • Najma R. A. Department of Pathology, Karuna Medical College, Chittur, Kerala, India
  • Ira Bharadwaj Department of Pathology, Karuna Medical College, Chittur, Kerala, India



Breast, Cancer awareness, Cervical, Medical students, Nursing students, Oral


Background: Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of mortality worldwide. The three leading cancers in India are cervical cancer, breast cancer and upper aerodigestive tract carcinoma. Cervical carcinoma is the 2nd most common cancer in women next to breast carcinoma. This study has been done to assess the knowledge, causation and preventive methods about the common cancers in India amongst Medical and Nursing students in a tertiary care center in rural Kerala. Preventive measures and early diagnosis of cancer can lead to decrease in mortality and morbidity. This can be achieved by creating awareness. A special emphasis has been made regarding cervical cancer and HPV vaccination in this study.

Methods: A total of 337 medical and 148 nursing students from 1st year to final year were included in this study and the results were analysed by descriptive statistics.

Results: Out of 337 medical and 148 nursing students, there was significant difference in knowledge between pretest/posttest and amongst the medical/nursing students. Medical students were found be more aware about the cancer, their causation and preventive methods as compared to the nursing students. 76.4% of nursing students were aware about the role of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) in the causation of cervical cancer pretest. 98.6% of nursing students were aware about the role of HPV in causation of cervical cancer posttest following a short lecture. Following a short lecture both medical and nursing students were found to have more awareness.

Conclusions: Creating awareness to the medical and nursing students who are intouch with the community and the patients is essential. Targeted health education in very important in creating a great impact about the knowledge of cancer in the community, thereby leading to decrease in mortality and morbidity.


World Health Organisation. Fact Sheet: National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP). Available at: Accessed 1 July 2018.

Franceschi S, Wild CP. Meeting the global demands of epidemiologic transition - the indispensable role of cancer prevention. Molecular Oncol. 2013:7(1):1-13.

Holmes KK, Levine R, Weaver M. Effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted infections. Bull World Health Org. 2004;82:454-61.

Franco EL, Duarte-Franco E, Ferenczy A. Cervical cancer: epidemiology, prevention and the role of human papillomavirus infection. Canadian Med Association J. 2001;164(7):1017-25.

Ghodsi Z, Hojjatoleslami S. Breast self examination and mammography in cancer screening: women health protective behavior. J Preventive Med Hygiene. 2014 Jun;55(2):46.

Swarnapriya K, Kavitha D, Reddy GM. Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding HPV vaccination among medical and para medical in students, India a cross sectional study. Asian Pacific J Cancer Pre. 2015;16:8473-7.

Raj S, Piang LK, Nair KS, Tiwari VK, Kaur H, Singh B. Awareness regarding risk factors, symptoms and treatment facilities for cancer in selected states of India. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prevent. 2012;13(8):4057-62.

Zur Hausen H. Viruses in human cancers. Sci. 1991 Nov 22;254(5035):1167-73.

Pandey D, Vanya V, Bhagat S, Binu VS, Shetty J. Awareness and attitude towards human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among medical students in a premier medical school in India. PloS One. 2012 Jul 31;7(7):e40619.

Ganju SA, Gautam N, Barwal V, Walia S, Ganju S. Assessment of knowledge and attitude of medical and nursing students towards screening for cervical carcinoma and HPV vaccination in a tertiary care teaching hospital. Int J Commu Med Public Health. 2017 Oct 25;4(11):4186-93.

Pitts MK, Heywood W, Ryall R, Smith AM, Shelley JM, et al. Knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV vaccine in a national sample of Australian men and women. Sex Health. 2010;7:299-303.

Chaudhry K. Tobacco control in India. 50 years of cancer control in India. WHO India. Available at:

Zou H, Meng X, Jia T, Zhu C, Chen X, Li X, et al. Awareness and acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among males attending a major sexual health clinic in Wuxi, China: A cross-sectional study. Human Vaccines Immunother. 2016 Jun 2;12(6):1551-9.




How to Cite

S., R., A., N. R., & Bharadwaj, I. (2020). Awareness of nursing students towards cancer and their comparison with medical students. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 8(7), 2542–2546.



Original Research Articles