Causes that make women afraid to experience breast self examination among attendants of primary health centers (Al-Sharqi and Al-Wahda) in Mosul city
Dr. Nada Najeeb Fadhil, Dr. Salwa Ahmad Hussien
Background: breast cancer one of the commonest causes of cancer morbidity & mortality worldwide. Early diagnosis remains the cornerstone of the fight against breast cancer. Breast self-examination (BSE) is free, painless & easy to practice especially in the developing countries where no facilities to do early diagnosis by mammographic scan though, the majority of women still not practicing it & there are fears & wrong thoughts about it among women. We conduct this study to highlight these factors that influence the practice of BSE. Aim: We aim to provide useful data that could be used by the department of health in Mosul city to reformulate their programs of early detection of breast cancer, through investigating the factors & beliefs that are related to BSE, that influence the practice of BSE among women which make them away from practicing it and afraid to do it even though they have or they haven’t knowledge about it. Patients & Methods: Across sectional study was conducted on a sample of 200 women aged (15-65 yrs) who were chosen randomly from the attendants of two overcrowded primary health care centers (AL-Sharqi & Al-Wahda PHHCS) in Mosul city, they were inquired about whether they or they do not experience the (BSE) and those who answered that they didn’t experience BSE were inquired about the causes that make them unwilling to do it, through answering a questionnaire which is constructed for this purpose. The study conducted through the period from the 1st of August – 1st of September 2019. Statistical analysis: Due to the descriptive nature of the study variables were described as numbers & percentages, for comparison between two variables we apply “chi2” test. Results: out of 200 responders 119 women (59.5%) were married while (16%) were single there was high rate of illiteracy & primary school education which constitute for (66%) of the participants & those with low& moderate economic status constitute for (92%). 138 women (69%) answered that they haven’t ever practiced BSE, the others who practiced BSE (13.5%) of them only who practiced BSE regularly while (17.5%) were practicing it sometimes & irregularly. There was significant relation between education & practicing BSE. (57.5%) of those who haven’t experienced BSE claimed that they haven’t heard about it while (42%) said that they didn’t know how to perform it, the others ( 28%) were afraid to experience BSE. The rest of the responders who haven’t practiced BSE had wrong beliefs and knowledge about breast carcinoma &BSE. Discussion: BSE might be of meticulous significance in countries were there are inadequate resources to perform mammogram screening for early detection of carcinoma of breast. This study showed that the vast majority of women who participate in the study have not ever practiced BSE & there is significant difference between women with low education & those with high education regarding practicing BSE. Regarding the causes that prevent women from practicing BSE the study showed that 41% of those who haven’t experienced BSE haven’t heard about it or they don’t know how to actually perform it. In addition this study showed that there is wrong beliefs and knowledge about carcinoma of breast & the benefits of BSE in early detection and thus complete cure from this disease Recommendations: we recommend that there is a need for continuing & enhancing health education programs through TV & social media which are accessible for nearly all women, in addition to the educational courses for doctors and health team members who are seeking forward with patients to increase their knowledge about the importance & the way of performance of BSE.