METHODOLOGY: A total of 396 students from the Management and Science University (MSU) participated during the semester of March 2010. Stratified random sampling was used and consent was obtained before the questionnaire was distributed. ANOVA and the t-test were used for the univariate analysis and multiple linear regression was used for the multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: The participants ages ranged from 18 to 27 years (Mean ± SD = 23.3 ± 1.57), more than half being female (62.4%). The majority were 23 years old or younger, single, Malay and from non-Medical and Health Science faculties and with a family monthly income of less than 10,000 Ringgits Malaysia(79.5%; 99%, 65.9, 52.5%, 63.9%; respectively). Only 18.4% of participants reported a family history of cancer. About 32.1% had a medical check-up in the previous 12 months and 17.4% were smokers. Multivariate analysis showed the faculty type to be significantly associated with knowledge of cancer prevention (p = 0.04). Regular medical check-ups were associated with attitudes and practices of cancer prevention (p = 0.04, p=0.003 respectively), the latter being significantly influenced by sex, family history of cancer and smoking (p = 0.034, p=0.013, p=0.002; respectively).
CONCLUSION: The majority of participants had poor knowledge of nutrition as related to cancer prevention. Attention should be given to regular medical check-ups, awareness of family history and smoking influence.