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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 61-65

A cross-sectional descriptive study to assess the awareness of breast cancer and practice of breast self-examination among rural women in Kancheepuram district


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Final Year MBBS Student, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJCFM.IJCFM_69_19

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Introduction: Breast cancer has been ranked as leading cancer across the world among women. The current study was done to assess the awareness about breast cancer and the practice of breast self-examination (BSE) among rural women in Kancheepuram district. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional community-based descriptive study in the rural field practice area of a medical college was conducted for 2 months. The sample size for the study was estimated to be 120 and systematic random sampling was employed. All women aged between 30 and 70 years of age were included in the study, and they were interviewed using a pretested semi-structured schedule. The knowledge responses were arbitrarily categorized as poor, fair, and good knowledge. Utmost care was taken to maintain privacy and confidentiality. Data entry was done in Microsoft Excel, and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 23.0. Results: The mean age of the study participants were 47.2 ± 7.8 years, with the majority of women from 50 to 60 years age-group. Most of the study participants 102 (85%) have heard about breast cancer, and positive family history and inadequate breastfeeding were identified as the most common risk factors. Only 4 (3.3%) women were practicing BSE and even among them none of them were doing it regularly. Factors like women being not aware of what to look for or how to perform it were the main barriers preventing them from doing BSE. Conclusion: In conclusion, 51 (42.5%) women had good to fair knowledge about breast cancer, whereas only 20% of the study participants were aware about BSE and its role in early detection of breast cancer. These findings clearly indicate that intensive efforts have to be taken for the advocacy, communication, and social mobilization to enable early detection of breast cancer among these underprivileged women.


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