Knowledge, attitudes, and practice on second primary cancer screening among cancer survivors: a qualitative study

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Oct;85(1):74-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.09.015. Epub 2010 Oct 30.


Objective: The goal of this study was to examine the knowledge, attitude, and practice on second cancer screening among cancer survivors.

Methods: Three focus group interviews were conducted with thirteen disease-free stomach, colorectal, breast and thyroid cancer survivors. Recurrent issues were identified and then placed into thematic categories.

Results: None of the study participants had heard SPC, and they could not differentiate SPC from 'recurrence' or 'metastasis.' Survivors believed that they had been cured, and they were not aware of their increased risk of SPC. Although they had high awareness of cancer screening, they could not make a distinction between 'cancer screening' and 'routine surveillance test' after cancer treatment. Survivors said that they would have had the screening for SPC if they had known about it. They preferred physicians as the most reliable source for screening information.

Conclusion: Cancer survivors had limited knowledge about SPC, and lack of information was the main barrier for SPC screening.

Practice implications: An educational intervention would help cancer survivors to understand their risk of SPC and the needs of screening after the first cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening* / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / prevention & control*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Survivors* / psychology