Awareness of breast cancer among south indian women: a survey

Vaishnavi Sivakali Subramanian., Gayathri R and VishnuPriya V

Aim:-To create an awareness on breast cancer among South Indian women.
Objective:-The objective of this study is to test the efficacy of women with the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation to detect symptoms and seek help promptly, with the aim of promoting early presentation with breast cancer symptoms.
Background:-Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among females worldwide. Global statistics show the annual incidence of breast cancer is increasing and this is occurring more rapidly in countries with a low incidence rate of breast cancer. It has been reported that each year over 1.15 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer and 502,000 die from the disease. Early detection of breast cancer plays the leading role in reducing mortality rates and improving the patients prognosis.
Method:The survey was carried out by preparing a set of questionnaires.These questionnaires were circulated among women to determine their awareness about breast cancer.The sample size for this survey was 200,which includes various age group.Data collected was then analysed statistically with the help of SPSS online software.
Result:Awareness for breast cancer is very much necessary among women.Our present study came out with a result of 81.9% awareness among South Indian women population.Media is interpreted to be a boon for creating awareness of 88% among the population.37.2% of the subjects believe that formation of any lumps or thickening in one or both the breast is the major symptoms for breast cancer.Almost half of the subjects (56.1%) were not aware that overweight or obesity can cause the risk for breast cancer and also not aware that non cancerous breast lumps/cyst or fibrocystic breast cancer disease can also increase the risk for breast cancer (51.3%). 27.6% of the population believe that all the breast cyst or lumps to be cancerous.But our study shows 30.8% were not aware about the screening programs, while those who were aware (69.2%), reported that Mammography (38.3%) followed by BSP(Breast screening program) (22.2%), BSE (Breast self examination) (18.6%).32.5% and 29.3% were aware only about surgery and chemotherapy procedures.
Conclusion: Our study found high awareness of breast cancer among South Indian women. The subjects had a moderate level of knowledgeabout breast cancer risk factors and signs and symptoms.Our study also shows media plays a vital role in educating the people about breast cancer. BSE practices were very less among the population.To spread on more awareness about the risk factors, symptoms and BSE ,campaigns can be launched.

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