This paper describes adult women's knowledge of the leading causes of cancer mortality among women. Exposure to antismoking advertisements or media messages also is examined as a potentially effective mechanism for changing inaccurate beliefs. We used data from the 2002 and 2003 American Smoking and Health Survey (ASHES), a national telephone survey of adults, to measure women's knowledge about cancer mortality. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the likelihoods of women indicating either breast or lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer mortality among women. The independent influence of individual characteristics such as race, smoking status, education, and awareness of antismoking messages or advertising on women's knowledge of cancer mortality was assessed. Overall, 66.7% of women inaccurately indicated breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among women, whereas 29.7% of women correctly indicated lung cancer. Black women were 43% less likely than White women to indicate lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer mortality among women. Current smokers were 35% less likely than noncurrent smokers to state that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among women. Awareness of antismoking messages or advertisements was associated with a higher probability of correctly indicating lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer mortality among women. Our evidence suggests that antismoking media messages may help to correct inaccurate beliefs about the leading causes of cancer death among women.
Women's knowledge of the leading causes of cancer death