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Table 3 Beliefs and knowledge about cancer and cancer screening

From: Cancer screening in Koreans: a focus group approach

Theme Representative interview quotations
Perceived susceptibility
 Robustness I am healthy and do not think that I will have cancer.
 Anxiety I might have cancer someday although I do not express this feeling. Therefore, I purchased private cancer insurance for myself.
Perceived severity
 Death sentence I would think that I had received a death sentence. I would spend all of my money and would think I was going to die if I had cancer.
Perceived benefits
 Early detection and treatment Screening would help me detect cancer and get early treatment if I had cancer.
 Relief or safety I was relieved after I underwent cancer screening and heard I did not have cancer.
 Taking advantage of the medical payment support program from the government If I had cancer, I would get financial help from the National Health Insurance because I had cancer screening as requested by the National Cancer Screening program.
Perceived barriers
 No symptoms I did not have cancer screening because I was not sick.
 Self-care when having symptoms My friend had stomach pains and self-diagnosed and self-treated by taking antacids such as Galpos. I told them to go to the hospital for screening, and they were diagnosed with stomach cancer.
 Distrust of tests, doctors, and hospitals Cancer screening tests, especially conducted by the National Cancer Screening program, are too simple and perfunctory and have made many misdiagnoses. Therefore, I do not trust results of cancer screening tests.
I do not trust small clinics or hospitals in regional areas because they are lower in quality than large hospitals in big cities. Large hospitals have the newest medical equipment, and doctors at big hospitals have much more experience from seeing many cancer patients.
 Unkind health care providers From my experiences with cancer screening, I do not like the coldness in the nurses’ voices. Health care providers at hospitals who provide services were unkind and bothered me.
 Financial issues The national cancer screening program provides us with inexpensive or free basic cancer screening tests, but I have to pay more money for in-depth medical examinations, which is a burden for me.
 Discomfort during cancer screening I do not like being naked in bed for the pap-smear test and drinking water-like medicine for colonoscopies. Mammograms hurt my breasts, so I do not like to have breast cancer screening.
Self-efficacy
 Confidence I can get cancer screening if I want to.
I received a call from a clinic and was asked to get cancer screening. I went to the clinic and the health care providers told me what to do to get cancer screening at the clinic or a hospital.
Knowledge of cancer causes
 Family history Cancer has a heredity basis
 Food Burnt food causes cancer.
Food that is too salty and spicy causes cancer.
 Infection If you do not sleep with a man, you do not have cervical cancer.
 Stress Lots of stress causes cancer.
 Personality An introvert who does not get angry and makes sacrifices would be more likely to get cancer.
 Body overuse People who use their shoulders and hands a lot, such as hairdressers or butchers, are more likely to get breast cancer.