Background: Breast cancer is the most common carcinoma in the world and the second most prevalent inIndian females. Over 0.7 million new cases of carcinoma breast are detected every year globally, with nearly 0.3million deaths, affecting 28 per 100,000 females in the age group of 35 to 60 years. Breast self examination(BSE) can detect 40% of breast lesions. The present study aimed to assess the impact of a health educationintervention program about breast self examination (BSE) among women in a semi-urban area in MadhyaPradesh, India. Methodology: The study was carried out in three phases; pre-intervention phase, interventionphase, and post-intervention phase. A total of 1000 women were included. Interventional health education inthe form of a lecture, pamphlets, flip charts and demonstration of the five step method of breast self examinationusing audio-visual aids was administrated.
Results: There was a significant improvement in knowledge regardingall aspects of breast self examination of the intervention group from pre- to post-test. After the interventionprogram, 590 (59%) women had good knowledge and among them 90.7% practiced (BSE) compared to 0%pre-test. An overall increase in the awareness of 43% and 53% of BSE practice was observed in the study groupafter intervention. Seven cases of breast disease were detected in which two were breast carcinoma and fivewere fibroadenomas.
Conclusion: The knowledge and practices of women toward breast self examination forearly detection were observed to be inadequate in respondents but there was a significant improvement afterthe intervention. Health education programs through various channels to increase the awareness and knowledgeabout BSE are the need of the hour. Mass media cancer education should promote widespread access toinformation about early detection behavior.