METHODS: This cross sectional study was conducted among 250 Malaysian women. Data were collected using a self administrated questionnaire which included questions on socio-demographic data, knowledge of breast cancer and awareness of mammography.
RESULTS: Mean age of respondents was 28 ± 9.2 with 69.2% aged 18 to 29 years. The majority had heard about breast cancer (81.2%) and indicated books, magazines and brochures as their source of information (55.2%). However, most did not know about signs and symptoms of breast cancer and many of its risk factors. On multivariate analysis, significant predictors of breast cancer knowledge were age, race, marital status, level of education, occupation, family size and family history of other cancers (p<0.05). Fifty percent of women were aware of mammography, significant predictors being age, occupation, marital status and knowledge of breast cancer (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Most women were aware of breast cancer. However, the knowledge about signs and symptoms of breast cancer and awareness of mammography were inadequate. It is recommended that the level of knowledge should be raised among Malaysian women, particularly in the less educated young.
METHODS: A total of 1598 questionnaires were posted to all female staff, aged 35 years and above. Their knowledge on breast cancer, practice of BSE and detection rate of breast abnormality as confirmed by CBE was determined.
RESULTS: The response rate for this study was 45 percent (714 respondents). The rate of respondents having awareness on breast cancer was 98.7 percent. Eighty four percent (598) of the respondents had performed BSE in their lifetime. However, in only 41% was it regular at the recommended time. Forty seven percent (334) had undergone CBE at least once in a lifetime but only 26% (185) had CBE at least once in the past 3 years, while 23% (165) had had a mammogram. There was a significant relationship between CBE and BSE whereby those who had CBE were twice more likely to do BSE. Nineteen percent (84 respondents) of those who did BSE claimed they had detected a breast lump. Of these, 87% (73) had gone for CBE and all were confirmed as such.
CONCLUSION: BSE is still relevant as a screening tool of breast cancer since those who detect breast lump by BSE will most probably go for further check up. CBE should be done to all women, especially those at highest risk of breast cancer, to encourage and train for BSE.