Literacy and Breast Cancer Prevention: a Population-Based Study from Iran

  • Harirchi, Iraj (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Azary, Saeedeh (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Montazeri, Ali (Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research (IHSR), ACECR) ;
  • Mousavi, Seyed Mohsen (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Sedighi, Zahra (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Keshtmand, Gelavizh (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Zarinkolah, Zahra (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Soltani, S.M. Amin Khalifeh (Cancer research Center, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2012.08.31


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the leading cause of death from cancer among women. Evidence suggests that early diagnosis and screening interventions might help to improve outcomes. This population-based study was conducted to determine breast cancer awareness and screening behavior among Iranian women and to examine its association with women's literacy. The study was carried out in two provinces, with 1,477,045 population, located in central and eastern part of Iran. Overall, 770 women were studied. Of these, 482 (62.7%) were literate and 287 (37.3%) were not. The results obtained from the data analysis indicated that there was a significant difference between literate and illiterate women. Further analysis of the data using logistic regression showed that literacy was an important contributing factor for breast cancer prevention behavior. The findings suggest that in order to improve women's health and breast cancer outcomes providing equal educational opportunities for women seems necessary.


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