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Objective: To determine the knowledge,attitudes and practices of urban women regarding breast cancer and its available screening modalities.Methods: The cross-sectional, questionnaire-based, descriptive study was conducted in the urban population of Karachi in November 2010. Female attendants (n=373) visiting a tertiary care centre and four of its urban outreach centres during the study period were administered a questionnaire. The answers were then scored with regard to their knowledge. Frequencies and percentages were computed through SPSS 17, and analysis of variance was used to confirm significance.Results: Of the 373 participants with a mean age of 32.4+/-10.9 years, 293 (78.6%) were married, and 257 (69%) were housewives. The education level was considerably high; with 214 (57.4%) graduates. The mean score for knowledge of risk factors was 2.84 out of a total of 13; which was significantly associated with marital status and income. Age > 40 years, education level, income and employment status were also significantly associated with higher mean screening awareness scores. Nearly 182 (48.8%) had heard about Breast Self Examination and 142 (38%) knew how to perform one. However, only 97 (25.9%) regularly performed such an exam. Almost all 3621 (97%) women wanted more media awareness campaigns regarding the issue.CONCLUSION: There is a real need for comprehensive health education programmes focusing on breast cancer awareness in Pakistan.


Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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