Study on perceptions of breast cancer risk factors and early detection measures among nurses in Bangladesh
Krishna Chakma, Nadira Begum
Introduction: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer worldwide with about 1 million new cases annually. In Bangladesh, it has overtaken cancer of the cervix to become the commonest malignancy in women. While studies conducted to assess breast cancer knowledge among women showed satisfactory level in some places. Other reports, especially from developing countries like Bangladesh revealed inadequate knowledge and awareness about the disease. Breast self-examination (BSE), clinical breast examination (CBE) and Mammography are recognized screening methods for breast cancer. Female healthcare professionals have greater influence on women's positive perception of breast cancer and motivation to practice screening methods for early detection of the disease. Objectives: To assess the perceptions of breast cancer risk factors and early detection measures among nurses in Bangladesh Methods: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive type of study in which exposure the present status is measured simultaneously in a given population as performed on the level of awareness of breast cancer risk factors and early detection measures among nurses. The study populations were 300 respondents that selected areas through random sampling technique from different medical college hospital, general hospital, nursing college/ nursing institute. Data were collected by questionnaires and also by secondary sources that focused on extensive literature review covering relevant national-level studies and reports. Results: Out of 300 respondents, 90.0% respondents said that about whether breast cancer can be prevented and 30(10.0%) were did not know whether breast cancer can be prevented. Most of the respondents 97.7% said that they didn’t received radiation treatment for any reasons of breast cancer. Results also showed that 196(65.3%) strongly agree, about the distribution of routine breast cancer screening is necessary for women >40 and only 4(1.3%) disagreed about this. On the other hand, about source of information 61.7% were well known from training institution about prevention of breast cancer. The respondents informed about early detection measures of breast cancer, 237(79%), Breast self-examination 23(7.7%) on clinical breast examination, 38(12.7%) on Mammography 2(0.7%) respondents on Ultrasound. Conclusions: In Bangladesh, previous studies on breast cancer knowledge assessment were conducted mainly among community dwelling women. Reports from these studies showed low level of awareness of breast cancer and practice of screening methods. In view of the large proportion of patients with breast cancer in Bangladesh presenting with advanced stages of the disease, there is need for more awareness of measures for early detection. Adequate knowledge and positive attitude towards breast cancer screening are essential for female healthcare professionals if they are to play their expected role in breast cancer awareness campaign in Bangladesh.