Background: In most developed countries, breast cancer screening (BCS) is a well-established practice whichis widely accepted by women. In contrast, national BCS projects in China were only launched in the last twoyears, so little is known about their public response.
Methods: We surveyed 1,162 Chinese women from differentsocio-economic regions in Sichuan Province to assess participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour regardingBCS. ANOVA/t-test, Chi-square test, SNK test, and covariance analyses were used to compare subgroupsand a multinomial logistic regression model was adopted to examine factors associated with BCS attendance.
Results: Statistically significant differences in scores of BCS knowledge were seen across regions. Most womenfrom all four regions were interested in knowing the risk factors for (1,053, 90.6%) and means of prevention(912, 78.5%) of breast cancer. Eight hundred thirty-seven (72.0%) women expressed willingness to pay extrainsurance fees when young in exchange for reimbursement for cancer screening when they reached the age atwhich screening is recommended. Approval of primary medical institutions was generally low. Regional socioeconomiclevel, work status, and education were strong predictors of BCS attendance.
Conclusion: To eliminategeographic disparities and raise the participation rate of BCS, future health education should be adjusted to localconditions and strengthened for women in under-developed regions. Incorporating BCS into a regular programof community-based prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases, and increasing medical insurance fundsto cover BCS, especially in rural areas, may be effective means to increase BCS attendance.