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Breast cancer knowledge, attitudes and practices among Nepalese women

Authors

  • V.R. BHATT MBBS,

    RESIDENT, Corresponding author
    1. Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY
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  • R.V. WETZ MD, FACP,

    ASSOCIATE CHAIRMAN OF MEDICINE, RESIDENCY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    1. Internal Medicine, DIRECTOR OF STUDENT EDUCATION, Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY, and CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
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  • R. SHRESTHA MBBS,

    MEDICAL OFFICER
    1. Tsho Rolpa General Hospital and Nursing College, Dolakha, Nepal
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  • B. SHRESTHA MBBS,

    POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
    1. Center for Translational Injury Research (CeTIR), University of Texas Health Science Center (UT-Health), Houston, TX, USA
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  • N. SHAH MBBS,

    RESIDENT
    1. Pathology, Department of Pathology, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
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  • P. SAYAMI MS, PHD,

    PROFESSOR OF SURGERY, DIRECTOR OF CARDIOTHORACIC AND BREAST UNIT
    1. Department of Surgery, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
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  • C.K. GURUNG MPH,

    PROFESSOR OF STATISTICS, FORMER HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY MEDICINE AND FAMILY HEALTH, FORMER ASSISTANT CAMPUS CHIEF OF MAHARAJGUNJ CAMPUS
    1. Department of Community Medicine and Family Health, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal
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  • K.F. WEISERBS MHS, PHD

    STATISTICIAN AND EPIDEMIOLOGIST
    1. Department of Academic Affairs, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY, USA
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Vijaya Raj Bhatt, Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, 475 Seaview Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305, USA (e-mail: vrbhatta@gmail.com).

Abstract

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.

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