In the course of working on these criteria, we investigated the attitude of people to oncological diseases and tried to help them to form objective opinions on this issue. The results obtained can help in the prevention of cancer, as well as prevention of carcinophobia.
In addition to our project, we have questioned ourselves: What is cancer for ordinary people? How does knowing about this disease affect their everyday lives? Are people doing something to protect themselves and others from it and should they do it? How does this perception change if somebody was affected by this disease?
By investigating these questions we wanted to strengthen the paradigm:
To help ordinary people to build the right perception of cancer and how they can protect themselves and help others in fighting this disease. And also to tell people who are fighting against oncology right now that they are not alone.
To summarize, we have tried to investigate cancer as a social phenomenon and affect the public perception of it.
Let’s begin our research with the history of relations between humanity and cancer.
It appears that this disease was known for all of human history. The importance of curing this disease was understood a long time ago as well. For example, one of the first references to cancer was made by Ancient Egypt scientist Imhotep who described the ways to cure breast cancer along with other diseases and who lately was proclaimed “the god of medicine”. 
The terms ‘oncology’ and ‘cancer’ originated from Hippocrates' works. Ancient Greeks and Romans tried to treat this disease by surgical removal of tumor and by using arsenic ointments. Internal tumors and late-stage tumors were not cured, as it was believed that the effects of therapies were more deadly for the patient than the disease itself. Thus, even in ancient times people tried to fight against cancer. 
Although, people begin to think about the prevention of cancer much later. In 1727 Le Clerc suggested cutting out swellings, polyps, and tumefactions before they become cancerous . British surgeon Percivall Pott reported about the correlation between the profession of chimney sweep and cancer of the scrotum in 1755.  The physician John Hill connected tobacco snuff and nose cancer in 1761. 
Pott's warnings and his list of instructions to avoid cancer were not taken into account for many years in England, where sweeps continued to suffer from scrotal cancer, but were implemented in Holland, where scrotal cancer decreased in sweeps.
As we can see, the knowledge of this disease and even of some ways to prevent it were obtained a long time ago. But the Pott’s example shows us that there must be an effective communication between researchers and society to effectively prevent cancer.
Many contradicting and mistaken beliefs about cancer existed in different societies . Even nowaday people believe that cancer is always a difficult and almost always a fatal incurable disease. More than half of people in the UK think that person will die if they were diagnosed cancer.  To somehow eliminate the fear of this diagnosis some specialists suggest using “C-word” instead of “Cancer”. . The most vivid illustration of the horror of this disease is the translation of one of the local names of cancer in Nigeria - “the disease that cannot be cured”.
This way of thinking becomes especially dangerous when we speak about suicides among cancer patients. . One of the reasons people diagnosed cancer make their final decision is Desire for Hastened Death. In some cases, this death could have been avoided if the cancer had not been perceived as that deadly and painful disease. But luckily this dark statistic decreases as we develop new drugs and improve patient care.  Also, we should not forget about such psychical disorder as cancerophobia - a common phobia and an anxiety disorder characterized by the chronic fear of developing cancer..
Another cancer-related problem is the lack of awareness about it. People tend to underestimate the importance of cancer prevention and screening for it. As a result, we have more cancer patients and more of them ask for medical help in the late stages of cancer. The problem is still very relevant and some campaigns were established to eliminate it. 
It appears that the general situation is that people often overestimate the consequences of cancer and at the same time underestimate the importance of preventing it or at least they don’t know how to do it.
In Russia, we managed to obtain 268 completed forms. We think that based on the data obtained we can draw some conclusions at least about Russian students and compare them with Egyptian students.
The first striking result obtained after data processing correlates with smoking habit.
In Russia, the Ministry of Health adheres to a very strict anti-smoking policy, including educational propaganda, which was noted even by WHO .
Here are the answers to the question 'Do you think smoking can increase the risk of cancer?’
In Russia, less than 1% of all respondents answered that they don’t think that smoking increases the risk of cancer. In Egypt, this number is much higher - 34%.
This example shows that a government can and should affect the awareness of cancer risk factors.
Other cancer risk factors, such as improper nutrition and alcohol abuse along with environmental risk factors were also examined. The results show that a significant part of one of the most educated parts of our society - students don’t know basic cancer risk factors.
Here are the percentages of right answers for each risk factor.
As we can see, alcohol abuse is the most ignorant factor. We think that if we collect a more diverse and larger sample the results will be even worse.
The number of people who checkups for cancer annually or more often is quite low in our survey. But this result is expectable because we cut our sample by age. If we analyse the subsample of people above 30 we will get these results: only 45% of people check-up for cancer at least once every 5 years.The percentage of people who do it annually is even smaller - 15.6 %. Although the sample size is comparatively small, only 51 people, the results are alarming. Early diagnosis is the key to recovery from cancer and it is important to annually check for this disease after 40.
The results of the survey confirmed the hypothesis that people still perceive cancer as almost always a fatal disease. Here are the answers to the question: ‘Are you afraid of having cancer?’
As we can see from this data, the number of people who still negatively assess their chances of recovery is more than 50 %. Similar figures are obtained from Egyptian data.
Our data shows that 40% of all respondents think that cancer patients can’t have a normal lifestyle during treatment. At the same time, 28.4 % of them think about this disease more often than once a week.
Participants were asked to assess their fear of cancer and knowledge in oncology and here are the results. As we can see – people, who are more educated in this area, tend to give less extreme answers.
It is especially notable when we talk about 5 / 5 fear rate.
The conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that we should pay more attention to increasing cancer awareness in society. Cancer is still perceived as an almost deadly disease but the knowledge distribution of risk factors is incomplete.
We conducted several interviews to compare the survey results with real situations and to reinforce our vision with the opinion of people touched by this disease.
First, we asked Tatiana Dumpis, the medical oncologist with 8 years of experience, important questions about prevention and treatment of cancer. Here the answers on them:
Second, we interviewed the girl who successfully overcame cancer, Elena. Because the second interview is more emotional than the previous one we decided to present it almost unedited.
The third interview we took was from a biologist, a specialist in the field of molecular biology and genetics, immunology and biotechnology. Doctor of Biological Sciences, Grigory Efimov told us about the field of cancer research and about his personal way and motivation.
*Chimeric antigen receptor T cells (also known as CAR T cells) are T cells that have been genetically engineered to produce an artificial T cell receptor for use in immunotherapy.
CAR gives T cells the ability to target a specific protein on the surface of target cells.
From these interviews, we learned what you should and what you shouldn’t do for cancer prevention, what the lives of cancer patients and cancer therapies look like, and how positive thinking can help you get through dark times. Also, we learned about the way of scientists in oncology and how science helps to fight this disease.
You can also take part in this fight. There are a lot of Russian and worldwide organizations which raise charity and donations for cancer patients. You can find the list of these organisations below:
Foundation for the fight against leukemia
Providing support for adult patients over 18 years of age with oncological diseases of the blood system, fundraising for treatment, volunteering.
Konstantin Khabensky Foundation
Helping children with cancer and other serious diseases of the brain and spinal cord. Collection of donations to pay for diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitation, and psychological support for patients.
Raising funds for the treatment and rehabilitation of children with oncological and hematological diseases, helping clinics, providing social and psychological support to sick children and their families.
Podari Zhizn has two sister charities: Gift of Life in the UK and Podari.Life in the US.
National hematology research center
Finding bone marrow donors.
House with the beacon
The Foundation helps terminally ill children and young adults under 30 by providing palliative care. Provide support for children's hospices in Moscow.
Helping seriously ill children, promoting the development of civil society, implementing high medical technologies.
American cancer society
Voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer.
International Agency for Research of Cancer
international research organization, part of the World Health Organization, promoting international cooperation in the field of scientific research in oncology.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Center
Cancer treatment and research institution, collection of donations
The number of donations is increasing. One of the examples - bone marrow donors statistic in Russia:
You can join them or just donate your money. Acting this way we might save more lives.
We tried to investigate and began to affect the public perception of cancer. Now we can conclude what:
- Cancer has been known by humanity for thousands of years and in ancient times people tried to treat it. Even ancient scientists did not perceive this disease as a disease that can not be cured.
- The ways to prevent cancer were discovered many years ago and the historical examples prove that this is important for governments to take them into account.
- Many people still perceive cancer as an almost incurable disease and many of them think that cancer patients can’t have a normal life during treatment.
- At the same time, a large number of people still do not know the basic risk factors of cancer. The check-ups for cancer are conducted annually by a few people, which makes it very hard to diagnose cancer at an early stage.
- Government actions can significantly affect people's awareness of cancer prevention.
- The check-ups for cancer are very important for people in a high-risk group and for the older generation. Without them, early detection of cancer will be difficult.
- Cancer patients can have a normal lifestyle and can live happily.
- Thanks to modern treatment even complicated cases of cancer can be cured or become a controlled chronic disease.
- In developing countries, cancer diagnosis and treatment is still a big problem in small towns and the countrysides.
- It is important to raise awareness of cancer, and our team began to do it.
- Even in their disease cancer patients can find cons. And positive thinking can overcome these obstacles.
- There are thousands of scientific organisations which develop new methods ofcancer treatment and many talented people from all over the world are working on solving the rising problem of cancer.
- Along with many volunteers, donors and benefactors you can take part in this fight through many charity organisations. The amount of these people is increasing year by year.
- Cancer should be cured, not feared.
- Donna M. Bozzone. Chapter 2. The History of Cancer and Leukemia // The Biology of Cancer: Leukemia. — New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2009. — P. 23—35. — ISBN 0-7910-8822-7.
- Le Clerc CG. The compleat surgeon. London: Walthos, Wilkin, Bonwicke and Ward; 1727.
- Hajdu SI. A note from history: landmarks in history of cancer, part 3. Cancer. 2012 Feb 15;118(4):1155-68. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26320. Epub 2011 Jul 12. PMID: 21751192.
- Hajdu, S.I. (2011), A note from history: Landmarks in history of cancer, part 2. Cancer, 117: 2811-2820. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.25825.
- Suicide in Patients With Cancer: Identifying the Risk Factors, June 19, 2019, Daniel C. McFarland, DO, Leah Walsh, MS, Stephanie Napolitano, MA, Jody Morita, MD, Reena Jaiswal, MD, Oncology, Oncology Vol 33 No 6, Volume 33, Issue 6.
- “Rate of Suicides Related to Cancer Is Declining”, February 17, 2021, by NCI Staff.