University of Sharjah, UAE
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Cancer Sci Ther
Background: Breast cancer, the most common cancer in the UAE, is a progressive disease with poor prognosis if detected late. Patients usually present at late stages due to lack of awareness about various aspects of breast cancer. Aim: To gain insight on the level of knowledge about breast cancer among younger adult females in Sharjah. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among young-adult females (between ages 25 and 45) in Sharjah. A total of 492 females were selected based on a non-probability convenience sampling method. Data were collected through interviewbased questionnaires then analysed using SPSS20. The total knowledge was calculated by averaging the total score (correct answers/total questions (66)) of each participant. Results: The mean age of the participants was 33.5. 26.8% finished high school, the rest went through university. The average total knowledge of our population was 51%. The Majority (89%) knew that breast cancer is common and 45% knew it affects ages above forty. The total knowledge about signs and symptoms was 53%, and more than half (57.8%) knew that the most common presenting sign is a breast/armpit lump. The total knowledge about risk factors was 43%. 94.3% knew that cancer can be detected, and 93% knew that early diagnosis improves outcome. The total knowledge about diagnosis aspects and early detection methods was 67 %. The most common reason for reluctance in performing BSE or other screening methods was decreased perception of risk. Finally, media was the most common source of knowledge. Conclusion: The study revealed that respondents├ó┬?┬? knowledge about general aspects of breast cancer is less than expected. Also, health authorities and physicians├ó┬?┬? contribution to the population├ó┬?┬?s knowledge was insufficient. The increased burden of the disease should be accompanied by powerful means of spreading awareness, which is exactly the aim of the study, to encourage implementation of methods that cover knowledge deficits as well as to emphasize on prevention and guidelines.
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