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Ginekol Pol. 2013 Feb;84(2):116-25.

[Knowledge of women and men about breast cancer prevention].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Dział Diagnostyki Obrazowej, Wojewódzki Szpital Specjalistyczny w Białej Podlaskiej, Poiska.



To assess the level of knowledge of men and women about the importance of mammography in preventing breast cancer.


The study group comprised 100 men and 100 women of the Provincial Hospital in Biała Podlaska. We used original questionnaires designed by the authors of the present study.


Only 14% of women and 20% of men knew that over 4,000 women in Poland die of breast cancer annually. The respondents declared cervical cancer (88% of women and 76% men) and breast cancer (84% of the women and men) to be the major threat and health issue for women. Forty-eight percent of women reported that they had a check-up at their gynecologist in the past six months. Sixty-four percent of women declared that they performed breast self-examination, and 44% of women had examined the breasts more than a year ago. Thirty-eight percent of men did not know when their wife/partner had their breasts examined. Respondents from both groups knew most of the symptoms of suspected cancer. Ninety-seven percent of woman and 78% of man were able to indicate genetic factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Fifty-two percent of women had a mammogram and 56% had a breast ultrasound. According to the men - 51% and 54% of women (wives/partners) had a mammogram and ultrasound, respectively. Only 47% of women received an invitation for a mammogram and 68% did not respond to it. According to men, 39% of their wives/partners received such as invitation and 68% of them did not use it. Seventy-four percent of the surveyed woman did not have a mammogram and 64% did not undergo a breast ultrasound in the last year. Seventy-six percent of women and 83% of men did not know the contraindications to mammography. Seventy percent of women and 68% of men argued that in order to perform a mammogram, one should consult a doctor for a referral. Sixty-six percent of women and 72% of men thought mammogram was the most effective method of detecting breast cancer. Thirty-two percent of women declared that they possessed knowledge about mammography. According to 65% of women and 66% of men, fear and fear of disease are the factors preventing patients from having a mammogram. Sixty-seven percent of women and 53% of men were of the opinion that the awareness of Polish women about breast cancer is average. Ninety percent of respondents supported the idea of bus mammography. The most well-known organizations involved in prevention of breast cancer proved to be the Amazons (86% of women and 84% men) and the AVON pink ribbon campaign (71% of women and 46% of men). Forty-six percent of women and 65% of men derived their knowledge about cancer from television and 47% of women and 46% of men from newspapers. Half of women and men thought that education about cancer should be initiated as early as middle school. According to the surveyed women the arguments that might convince women to participate in the exam were: the chance to take care of one's health (63%), possibility to have the test performed close to home (44%), no charge for the test (32%), or other unspecified factors (5%). According to respondents, men and women often would benefit from mammography if they could perform it in their neighborhood (62%) or if the mammogram could be performed free of charge (51%).


Only half of the women ever had a mammogram, and only one-third of the surveyed females received invitations. As the most important barriers to preventive action, they reported lack of knowledge, lack of financial resources and limited access to mammography. Knowledge of men and women about mammography as a breast cancer prevention method is unsatisfactory. We should make an effort to increase the awareness of women and men about the importance of breast self-exam and participation in organized screening programs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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