Breast cancer. Knowledge, attitudes and practices of breast self examination among women in Qassim region of Saudi Arabia.
To determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of women in Qassim region regarding breast self examination (BSE), and also to explore their level of knowledge regarding breast cancer.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey during the period from May to June 2005, among Saudi female patients attending the Primary Health Care Centers of Qassim region. A total of 300 females, 20-70 years of age, were interviewed in 10 randomly selected primary health care centers.
The mean age of the participants was 36.2 +/- 10.2 years, and 70.7% of them were literate. Regarding the knowledge of risk factors, 76% of the respondents had 3 or more correct answers out of the total 7 questions. Twenty-six percent of the respondents did not know the presenting symptom of breast cancer. Whereas, 69.7% of the participants had never heard of BSE. The participants had a positive attitude towards learning BSE. Of the total respondents, 18.7% reported that they practice BSE, majority (57%) of whom had started performing it within the previous year. However, 74% of the respondents did not have access to breast health information.
This study concludes that the level of awareness of the females of Qassim region regarding breast cancer and BSE is not adequate and a health education program for this subject should be introduced in the region.
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