Breast Cancer Knowledge, Risk Factors and Screening Among Adult Saudi Women in a Primary Health Care Setting


Objective: To assess level and determinants of knowledge about risk factors and utilization of screeningmethods used for breast cancer early detection among adult Saudi women in Al Hassa, KSA. Study Design:cross-sectional descriptive. Participants and
Methods: A total of 1,315 Saudi adult females were included, selectedthrough a multistage stratified sampling method from ten primary health care centers. No previous history ofbreast cancer, attendance for routine services or accompanying patients were prerequisites for eligibility.Participants were invited to personal interview with pre-tested validated questionnaire including inquiriesregarding knowledge, screening practices including clinical breast examination (CBE), mammography, individualbreast cancer risk factors and perceived barriers towards (CBE). Both descriptive and inferential statisticswere applied; logistic regression was conducted to determine the possible correlates of knowledge.
Results:Overall level of knowledge regarding risk factors and appropriate screening was low and dependent uponeducational and occupational status. Early screening is underutilized among participants due to several perceivedbarriers. Clinical breast examinations were employed by less than 5% and mammography by only 3% of cases.A positive family history was found in 18% of cases among first and second degree relatives, and 2 % had aprior history of benign breast lesions.
Conclusion: Included women, irrespective of their educational status, hadknowledge deficits regarding breast cancer risk factors and underutilization of the recommended breast cancerscreening. Several barriers are contributing to such knowledge deficits and screening behavior.