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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • culture;
  • information;
  • education

BHATT V.R., WETZ R.V., SHRESTHA R., SHRESTHA B., SHAH N., SAYAMI P., GURUNG C.K. & WEISERBS K.F. (2011) European Journal of Cancer Care20, 810–817

Breast cancer knowledge, attitudes and practices among Nepalese women

Although Nepal has an epidemic of early-onset, aggressive, advanced breast cancer, breast cancer knowledge and screening practices of Nepalese women have not been assessed. This paper summarises the results of a physician-administrated survey of gynaecologic inpatients (n= 100) admitted between 1 December 2009 and 31 January 2010 at a Nepalese University. Mean knowledge score of the participants was 65%, significantly higher among highly educated women (P= 0.008), professionals (P= 0.014) and women counselled during medical visits (P= 0.030). Study participants, including highly educated women, had many misconceptions. This included lack of awareness of painless nature and non-lump symptoms of breast cancer as well as the belief that traditional health care can be curative. The majority of participants were unaware of clinical breast examination (68%) and mammography (56%). Only 10% of the participants had undergone breast evaluation in the last 2 years. The practice of breast evaluation was more common among Buddhists (P= 0.043), and women counselled during medical visits (P < 0.001), with high economic status (P= 0.022), higher education (P= 0.013) and a family history of breast cancer (P= 0.049). Counselling during medical visits and higher education level were associated with better knowledge of and screening practices for breast cancer in the studied population.