Background: Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women and is one of the most frequent cancersamong Iranian women. Delay in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer diminishes a women’s chance ofsurvival. Breast self- examination (BSE) may be effective in early detection. The purpose of this study was toidentify the relationship between Iranian women’s socioeconomic status and their knowledge and practice ofBSE.
Methods: Data were from a hospital-based case–control study among women diagnosed with breast cancer.Control subjects were matched to patients on age. 303 breast cancer patients and 303 control women wereinterviewed. Socioeconomic status and information including knowledge and practices of breast self examinationand clinical breast examination were recorded and compared.
Results: The mean ± SD age of cases and controlswas 48.2 ± 9.8 and 50.2 ± 11.1 (range 24-84 years), respectively. The study revealed that there were significantrelationships between education level and knowledge and practices of breast self examination in both cases andcontrols, increase in usage being observed with the level of education (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The findingssuggest that the knowledge and practices of women toward breast cancer early detection are inadequate inwomen with a lower level of education. Mass media cancer education should promote widespread access toinformation about early detection behavior.