OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to examine the practice and associated factors of breast self- examination (BSE) among Malaysian women.
METHODS: For this cross-sectional study 250 women were selected by a simple random sampling technique. The questionnaire was consisted of three parts: socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge about BSE, and practice of BSE. Obtained data was analyzed using SPSS version 13. T-test and ANOVA test were used to explore the relation between socio-demographic characteristics and the practice of BSE.
RESULTS: About 32% of the participants reported that they have had family history of cancer and about 20% of the participants reported that they have had family history of breast cancer. The majority of the participants (88.8%) have heard about breast cancer and 78.4% of the participants have heard about BSE. Race, marital status, residency, regular exercise, awareness about breast cancer, belief that breast cancer can be detected early, belief that early detection improves the chance of survival, family history of cancer, family history of breast cancer, awareness about BSE, and belief that BSE is necessary, significantly influenced the practice of BSE among women. Practice of BSE on monthly basis was found to be 47.2% among the study participants.
CONCLUSION: The socio-demographic characteristics significantly influence the practice of BSA among women in Malaysia. The findings of this study might not only influence the planning of specific screening interventions and strategies in Malaysia but might also be important for the relevant international communities, interested in the peculiarities of BSE incidence in different countries.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.