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J Cancer Res Ther. 2012 Jan-Mar;8(1):46-9. doi: 10.4103/0973-1482.95173.

A survey of breast cancer knowledge and attitude in Iranian women.

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  • 1Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among Iranian women. It is recommended that women be under national screening for early detection of cases to improve survival and decrease mortality. Because of shortage of facilities, breast self-examination (BSE) instead of clinical-based examination (CBE) and mammography is advocated as the first step of screening in developing countries including Iran. It is quite clear that the related knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of the community is necessary to have a successful screening program particularly for BSE.


A community-based descriptive study on 650 females aged more than 18 years was carried out with a well-structured and valid questionnaire to demonstrate the knowledge and practice of women for BSE, CBE and mammography.


The mean age of participants was 40.72 years with standard deviation (SD) of 9.58. Eighty-two point six percent (82.6%) were married and 48.4% were post graduates. A painless mass (60.8%) and bloody discharge (44.9%) were reported as the two important symptoms for BC. In this assay, 80.3% of participants knew females are at risk of BC and 70.6% of them perceived that early detection and operation in early stages are effective issues. Thirty point eight percent (30.8%) of respondents knew the BSE and this knowledge had significant association with their educational status. Fifty-nine point nine percent (59.9%) of participants were able to do BSE but only 12.9% of respondents practiced BSE regularly.


Community awareness and education level are important elements in BSE as a substitute for traditional screening in BC for early detection.

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