Breast cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in women globally and early detection increases the survival rate of patients. Therefore, this study was done to determine factors which influence the awareness of breast cancer and practice of screening procedures. A cross-sectional study was performed on 125 women aged 19-60 years in urban and rural areas in Malaysia using a validated questionnaire covering knowledge of breast cancer and screening practices. A total of 99.2% respondents knew that breast cancer is the leading cancer with a mean knowledge of 67.3 ± 15.3% for urban and 50.2 ± 14.7% for rural women Mann Whitney U showed rural women had significantly less awareness compared to urban women (p< 0.05). Spearman correlation test showed a significant positive relationship between education and awareness (p< 0.05). Regarding awareness of the screening methods, 92.8%, 50.4% and 47.2% of respondents correctly answered questions on capability of BSE, CBE and mammography, respectively. In conclusion, the study showed awareness of breast cancer and practice of screening procedures increases with higher education and urban living. Therefore, there is an urgent need for an intensive breast cancer awareness campaign and availablity of screening centres prioritized in rural areas.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.