Background: We evaluated students' perception of cancer causation among sixth-grade girls living in Wisconsin.
Method: We asked female students to list up to 3 causes of cancer in a cross-sectional health survey.
Results: A total of 141 answers were given by 53 students. The most frequently listed causes of cancer were cigarette smoking (91%), drugs (32%), an unhealthy diet (25%), and heredity (25%). Less than 10% of students listed other potentially modifiable risk factors such as exercise, sun exposure, or alcohol consumption.
Conclusion: Students in this study appeared to link a range of high-risk behaviors with health consequences, although the specific health risks may not be understood.