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Breast Cancer Awareness at the Community Level among Women in Delhi, India

  • Dey, Subhojit ;
  • Mishra, Arti ;
  • Govil, Jyotsna ;
  • Dhillon, Preet K
  • Published : 2015.08.03

Abstract

Background: To assess women's awareness from diverse sections of society in Delhi regarding various aspects of breast cancer (BC) - perceptions, signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention, screening and treatment. Materials and Methods: Community-level survey was undertaken in association with the Indian Cancer Society (ICS), Delhi during May 2013-March 2014. Women attending BC awareness workshops by ICS were given self-administered questionnaires before the workshop in the local language to assess BC literacy. Information provided by 2017 women was converted into awareness scores (aware=1) for analysis using SPSS. Awareness scores were dichotomized with median score=19 as cut off, create more aware and less aware categories. Bivariate and multivariate analysis provided P-values, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Broadly, 53.4% women were aware about various aspects of BC. Notably, 49.1% women believed that BC was incurable and 73.9% women believed pain to be an initial BC symptom. Only 34.9% women performed breast self-examination (BSE) and 6.9% women had undergone clinical breast-examination/mammography. 40.5% women had higher awareness (awareness score > median score of 19), which was associated with education [graduates (OR=2.31; 95%CI=1.78, 3.16), post-graduates (OR=7.06; 95%CI=4.14, 12.05) compared to ${\leq}$ high school] and socio-economic status (SES) [low-middle (OR=4.20; 95%CI=2.72, 6.49), middle (OR=6.00; 95%CI=3.82, 9.42) and upper (OR=6.97; 95%CI=4.10, 11.84) compared to low SES]. Conclusions: BC awareness of women in Delhi was suboptimal and was associated with low SES and education. Awareness must be drastically increased via community outreach and use of media as a first step in the fight against BC.

Keywords

Breast cancer;awareness;cancer prevention;breast self-examination;Delhi;India

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Acknowledgement

Supported by : UK universities