METHODS: A single-blind randomized controlled trial was carried out among 370 female undergraduate students from January 2011 to April 2012 in two selected public universities in Malaysia. Participants were randomized to either the intervention group or the control group. The educational program was delivered to the intervention group. The outcome measures were assessed at baseline, 6, and 12 months after implementing the health educational program. Chi-square, independent samples t-test and two-way repeated measures ANOVA (GLM) were conducted in the course of the data analyses.
RESULTS: Mean scores of knowledge on breast cancer (p<0.003), knowledge on breast self examination (p<0.001), benefits of BSE (p<0.00), barrier of BSE (0.01) and confidence of BSE practice (p<0.00) in the intervention group had significant differences in comparison with those of the control group 6 and 12 months after the intervention. Also, among those who never practiced BSE at baseline, frequency of BSE practice increased 6 and 12 months after the intervention (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The Breast Health Awareness program based on health the belief model had a positive effect on knowledge of breast cancer and breast self-examination and practice of BSE among females in Malaysia.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: The ANZCTR clinical trial registry ( ACTRN12616000831482 ), retrospectively registered on Jun 23, 2016 in ANZCTR.org.au.
OBJECTIVES: This narrative review aimed to understand and evaluate the level of in-depth breast cancer knowledge in terms of clinical breast examination and breast self-examination, and other important aspects such as side-effects and risk factors in Malaysian females. Since Malaysia is multicultural, this review assessed social perceptions, cultural beliefs and help-seeking behaviour in respect to breast cancer among different ethnic groups, since these may impinge on efforts to 'avoid' the disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of seven databases was performed from December 2015 to January 2015. Screening of relevant published journals was also undertaken to identify available information related to the knowledge, perception and help-seeking behaviour of Malaysian women in relation to breast cancer.
RESULTS: A total of 42 articles were appraised and included in this review. Generally, women in Malaysia had good awareness of breast cancer and its screening tools, particularly breast self-examination, but only superficial in-depth knowledge about the disease. Women in rural areas had lower levels of knowledge than those in urban areas. It was also shown that books, magazines, brochures and television were among the most common sources of breast cancer information. Delay in presentation was attributed mainly to a negative social perception of the disease, poverty, cultural and religion practices, and a strong influence of complementary and alternative medicine, rather than a lack of knowledge.
CONCLUSIONS: This review highlighted the need for an intensive and in-depth breast cancer education campaigns using media and community health programmes, even with the existing good awareness of breast cancer. This is essential in order to avoid misconceptions and to frame the correct mind-set about breast cancer among women in Malaysia. Socio-cultural differences and religious practices should be taken into account by health care professionals when advising on breast cancer. Women need to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of breast cancer so that early diagnosis can take place and the chances of survival improved.
METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 women in Shah Alam, Selangor; Malaysia. The questionnaire contained 27 questions and was comprised of two sections; socio-demographic characteristics and practices, knowledge and barriers of mammography. All the data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 13.0.
RESULTS: Of the 200 Malaysian women who participated in this study, the majority were under the age of 50 years (65.5%), Malay (86%), and married (94.5%). Regarding any family history of cancer in general, the majority of the participants had none (78%). However, some did report a close relative with breast cancer (16.5%). While the majority of them knew about mammography (68%), 15% had had a mammogram once in their life and only 2% had the procedure every two or three years. Univariate analysis showed that age, family history of cancer, family history of breast cancer, regular supplement intake, regular medical check-up and knowledge about mammogram were significantly associated with mammogram practice among the general population (p=0.007, p=0.043, P=0.015, p=0.01, p=0.001, p<0.001; respectively). Multivariate analysis using multiple linear regression test showed that age, regular medical check-up and knowledge about mammography testing were statistically associated with the practice of mammography among the general population in Malaysia (p=0.035, p=0.015 and p<0.001; respectively). Lack of time, lack of knowledge, not knowing where to go for the test and a fear of the test result were the most important barriers (42.5%, 32%, 21%, 20%; respectively).
CONCLUSION: The practice of mammogram screening is low among Malaysian women.