Alexandria Journal of Medicine

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Knowledge, awareness, and practices concerning breast cancer among Kuwaiti female school teachers

NA Alharbi, MS Alshammari, BM Almutairi, G Makboul, MK El-Shazly


Background: Breast cancer is by far the most frequent cancer of women. However the preventive measures for such problem are probably less than expected.
Objectives: The objectives of this study are to assess the breast cancer knowledge and awareness and factors associated with the practice of breast self examination (BSE) among female teachers.
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional survey of teachers working in schools in Al-Jahra, governorate. A sample of twenty schools was selected randomly by the stratified sampling method from all schools of the selected governorate that included primary, intermediate and secondary schools. All ever married Kuwaiti female teachers working in the selected schools were asked to fill a selfadministered questionnaire to investigate their knowledge about the risk factors of breast cancer, their awareness and screening behaviors. Data were collected from 421 female teachers with 87.5% response rate.

Results: The results of the study showed that 67.5% of the participants declared that they had information about breast cancer and their sources of information were mainly health professionals/workers (98.2%), friends/neighbors (83.5%), TV/Radio (76.0%) and printed materials
(60.2%). Of the participants, 18.5% reported positive family history of breast cancer, 49.9% did not know how to practice BSE, 29.0% knew the procedure but never applied it. Moreover, 81.9% has no breast examination by health professionals and 85.7% did not know what the mammography is. The factors that may have an impact on acquiring satisfactory level of knowledge were, women older than 40 years, married, user of contraceptive pills, with a history of child death.
Conclusions: The study points to the insufficient knowledge of female teachers about breast cancer and identified the negative influence of low knowledge on the practice of BSE.

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