Knowledge on breast cancer: a population - based study in Sri Lanka
Keywords:Breast cancer, Awareness, Sri Lanka, General public
Background: Breast cancer [BC] is the commonest cancer in women in Sri Lanka. This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge on BC among sample of adults from the general public. Materials and Methods: A household survey was conducted among a representative sample of adults of general public [n=1500] living in Colombo district. A pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge on BC. Overall knowledge and knowledge on – different aspects of BC were estimated based on percentage scores and were presented as ‘good / poor’ levels based on predetermined cut-offs. Results: [n=1500] Response rate was 97.2%. Mean age of participants was 37.21 [SD = ± 9.7] years and 48.3% [n = 725] of the sample were males. Only 207 [13.8%] [95% CI - 12.1 – 15.6] adults have a ‘good’ overall knowledge on breast cancer. Less than 20% had ‘good’ knowledge on risk factors, symptoms, screening / diagnosis methods and services provided through Well-Women Clinics. Those with knowledge on available treatment methods were 31.8% [95% CI – 29.5 – 34.1]. Being female [p<0.0001], married [p<0.0001], with high level of education [p<0.001] and being employed [p<0.0001] were associated with a ‘good’ overall knowledge on breast cancer. Conclusion: Knowledge on risk factors, symptoms, screening / diagnostic methods and the services provided through Well-Women Clinics were particularly poor among adults of the general public. Educational interventions targeted at these aspects are recommended to improve awareness among the general public on BC.
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