Barriers to breast self-examination among Tunisian women
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Farhat Hached Sousse, Tunisia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A725
Introduction: Breast cancer remains the most frequent female cancer in Tunisia. The prevalence rate of breast cancer has shown a peak in recent years and represents 20-25% of malignant tumors in women with an incidence in 2017 estimated at 50.17/100000 cases with a female mortality significantly high with 14.04 deaths per 100000 women per year. Breast cancer can be diagnosable at early stage using inexpensive, accessible, and easy screening programs. Usually culture, beliefs, and opinions of women affect adoption of screening techniques. Objective: This study aims to investigate barriers to breast self-examination (BSE) among Tunisian women. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed among women consulting the Reproductive Health Center of Sousse spread over a period of 2 months (February, March 2018). Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires. Results: The mean age of the participants was 34 years with extremes ranging from 18 to 64 years. 47% of surveyed women have already performed BSE at least once during the last year. The main barriers found were lack of awareness about the importance of breast examination (p = 0.03), lack of knowledge about BSE techniques (p < 0.001), and lack of training by personnel of healthcare centers (p = 0.016). The score of the practice of women surveyed was average; mostly, women have intermediate results for the technique of self-examination breast. No woman had a score of 15/15. Conclusions: A better education of the practice of self-examination is essential in order to improve the screening program for breast cancer. The role of the gynecologist, general practitioner or midwife is therefore essential in education and training. Keywords: breast self-examination, Tunisia, barriers