KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES OF PAKISTANI WOMEN REGARDING BREAST CANCER
Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of Pakistani women about breast cancer.
Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Pak Emirates Military Hospital Rawalpindi, from Sep 2012 to Feb 2013.
Material and Methods: Two hundred adult female patients and their accompanying attendants were randomly
selected (Those with breast complaints were excluded) in outpatient department of military hospitals and
were interviewed. In order to gather data patients were asked to reply through a questionnaire along with their
demographic profile structure questionnaire, comprising of 28 questions (included both open and closed ended),
was used to collect data which was analyzed in the end with the help of SPSS version 15.
Results: Mean age of participants was 37.5 ± 7.5 years. Majority were married (87%), housewives (89%) with
average family income of Rupees 15000 (53%). Majority 94% (n=188) had heard about breast cancer. Questions
regarding knowledge showed that participants awareness about relationship of breast cancer with obesity,
smoking and increasing age was more than 50%. Up to 70% women had knowledge of breast lump as main
symptom of breast cancer. Knowledge regarding diagnostic modalities was very poor. Only 16% knew about
FNAC/Biopsy and 7.5% about mammography. A large majority (90%) showed positive attitude and were ready
to see a doctor immediately in case they felt a lump in breast but practices of breast self-examination were poor
Conclusion: It was concluded that knowledge of most respondents was limited, practices were poor, but attitude
towards breast cancer was positive. Lack of education, socio-cultural taboos and getting information from wrong
sources surfaced as leading reasons of unawareness.