• breast health;
  • breast screening behaviors;
  • breast self-examination;
  • clinical breast examination;
  • mammography;
  • nuns;
  • women religious

Abstract:  Breast cancer is a major health problem and concern of women religious in the USA. Although they have been identified as a high-risk population, only a limited number of breast health studies have been conducted. The purpose of this study was to explore breast-related health practices (breast self-examination [BSE], clinical breast examination [CBE], and mammography) of women religious residing in the United States. A survey design was used to collect a national sample. The probability sample consisted of 1,615 women religious between the ages of 24 and 99 (mean age = 64.5). Nearly 71% of the respondents reported performing BSE; 22.7% monthly. Sixty-nine percent of participants reported having a mammogram within the past year. Nearly 70% of the respondents reported having had a CBE within the past year. Several factors for not performing BSE or having mammogram are described by this population. Findings suggest a need for increase engagement by women religious in breast-related health practices.