Due to recent increases in cancer burden worldwide, we investigated current awareness of cancer risk factors and the association between information sources and health behaviors for cancer prevention in Japan. A nationwide representative sample aged 20 years or older (563 men and 653 women) responded to a questionnaire as part of a population-based survey in December 2018. Tobacco smoking (55.7% of the mean attributable fraction of cancer risk overall) and cancer-causing infection (52.0%) were regarded more highly than other lifestyle factors as causes of cancer (obesity [36.6%], physical inactivity [31.9%], unbalanced diet [30.9%], and alcohol consumption [26.2%]). The association between information sources and health behaviors for cancer prevention was evaluated using a logistic regression model. The websites of public institutions, and health professionals were associated with a broad range of health behaviors including improving diet, exercise, cancer screening/health check-up, and abstinence from smoking/drinking. Among sources of print media, positive associations were observed between books and improving diet/exercise, brochures and cancer screening/health check-up, and advertisements and abstinence from smoking/drinking. A strategic health communication approach that utilizes various information sources and delivery channels is needed to inform the public about cancer prevention and to motivate risk-reducing behaviors in the population.
© 2022. The Author(s).