Women’s Knowledge of Breast Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background: There is a recognised need for a mass populationbased breast cancer screening programme in Bahrain. Better understanding of the level of knowledge and the different perceptions regarding breast cancer among women in Bahrain can potentially aid in the development of a culturally appropriate and efficient educational campaign. This study set out to explore the knowledge of women in Bahrain with regards to breast cancer risk factors, screening and treatment options.
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional study including 300 participants from breast clinics in the primary health care centres in Bahrain. Questionnaires were completed via face to face interviews.
Results: In terms of risk factor knowledge, 51.3% of respondents answered “yes” on whether family history is a risk to developing breast cancer. This was closely followed by 51% of participants answering “yes” with regards to BRCA genetic mutation being a risk factor. Mammogram was exceedingly the method rated as most effective for detecting BC; 13.7% gave it a rank of 1 (best). Physical examination came second in terms the percentage of respondents ranking it as the best. Furthermore, 91.0% of respondents believed that BC screening is safe. In addition, there was a statistically significant negative relationship between age of respondents and how safe screening was perceived. Education was a statistically significant positive predictor with regards to whether screening was thought to improve survival. Surgery was chosen by the majority as the most important treatment for cancer (43.7%).
Conclusions: The findings of this study point to improved screening knowledge level but limited knowledge regarding risk factors and treatment. These areas can be targeted in future educational campaigns.