BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the commonest type of cancer among women, and in Malaysia 50-60% of the new cases are being detected at late stages. Do age, education level, income, ethnicity, relationship with breast cancer patients and knowledge of breast cancer risk factors influence breast screening practices? This study revealed interesting but significant differences.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the knowledge of breast cancer risk factors and early detection measures among women in a high risk group.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross sectional survey of one hundred and thirty one women relatives of breast cancer patients was carried out. Participants were selected through purposive sampling, during hospital visits. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection.
RESULTS: The majority of the respondents (71%) had poor knowledge of the risk factors for breast cancer. Income, relationship with a patient and practise of breast cancer screening predicted performance of mammography, R2=0.467, F=12.568, p<0.0001.
CONCLUSIONS: The finding shows inadequate knowledge of breast cancer risk factors and poor cancer screening practise among women with family history of breast cancer. Poor knowledge and practise of breast screening are likely to lead to late stage presentation of breast cancer disease. Some important predictors of breast cancer screening behaviour among women with positive family history of breast cancer were identified. An understanding of the strengths and significance of the association between these factors and breast screening behaviour is vital for developing more targeted breast health promotion.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.