Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

BREAST HEALTH ISSUES AMONG RURAL FEMALES: HOW MUCH THEY KNOW AND WHAT DO THEY PRACTICE?

Author

Dahlui M, Gan D, Taib N, Lim J

Institution

University of Malaya

Abstract

Objectives: This study assesses rural women’s ability to recognize symptoms and risk factors of breast cancer, their uptake of breast cancer screening with its associated factors and the role of social support in promoting breast cancer screening.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in four rural districts whereby 959 women aged 20 to 64 years old were selected through multistage random sampling and interviewed with structured and pretested questionnaires.

Results: Majority of the women were Malays, aged 40 years and above, not working and had secondary level education. Half had moderate knowledge of breast cancer; 32% recognized a painless lump as a symptom of breast cancer. Females below 50 years old, of Malay ethnicity and who had secondary education scored better than those older, of Chinese ethnicity and had primary education (p<0.001). The uptake of BSE was 59%, followed by CBE (51%) and mammogram (6.8%). Multivariate analysis revealed CBE and education as top predictors of regular BSE, being married and husband support for screening as top predictors for CBE; and CBE as the top predictor of mammography uptake. Good knowledge of breast cancer is a predictor for CBE and BSE.

Conclusion: Enhancing females with knowledge on breast health issues and increasing family involvement can improve the uptake of breast cancer screening.