Awareness of Breast Cancer & Breast Self-Examination among Rural Women in Western India ??? A Cross Sectional Study


Harishchandra Dyanoba Gore1, Surekha Sachin Gawade2, Shubhangi Uttam Agawane3, Sachin Arun Gawade4, Abhay Babruwahan Mane5, Mayavati Nilesh Nannaware6, Vaishali Praful Bansod7

Breast cancer is becoming the most common cancer among women in the world.
It is estimated that about 2.1 million new cases were diagnosed in the year 2018.
When breast cancer is detected early, there is a good chance of cure. Early
detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. Breast
self-examination (BSE) and awareness have a major role in early detection of this
cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine the awareness of breast cancer
& breast self-examination among the rural women in western India.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in rural field practice area of Medical
College in western India. Out of 19 villages three villages were selected by simple
random sampling method and participants in the selected village were identified
by systematic random sampling method. A standardized Marathi questionnaire was
used, containing demographic profile, knowledge and impressions about breast
cancer and BSE. Analysis was done by Microsoft excel 2007 and Epi Info 7.2.
Out of 522 women, 249 (47.70 %) were know or heard about breast cancer and
only 111 (21.26 %) ever heard about breast self-examination (BSE). Out of 111
women ever heard about BSE only 12 (10.51 %) were performing BSE; of which
03 (2.87 %) were doing BSE daily, 03 were weekly, 04 were monthly and 02 were
very rarely. Most of the women, 186 (76 %) perceived balanced diet was good for
prevention of breast cancer, followed by breast self-examination 167 (68.42 %).
Most of the 200 (81.87 %) women responded that medical treatment is the main
treatment for breast cancer, followed by surgical treatment 142 (57.89 %),
radiotherapy 127 (52 %), spiritual and traditional treatment was 14 - 20 (6 - 8
Awareness about breast cancer was considerable but there was poor knowledge
about BSE and risk factors among the rural women in western India.