Risk of Breast Cancer, Health Beliefs and Screening Behaviour among Turkish Academic Women and Housewives


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common forms of epithelial neoplasms type of canceraffecting women worldwide. The main objective of this study was to examine health beliefs, screening behaviorand risk for developing BC in academic women and housewives in Turkey.
Methods: In this cross-sectional,descriptive study, a sample of 415 women were surveyed, composed of 166 academics and 249 housewives betweenthe ages of 20-65 years.
Results: Risk of developing breast cancer, both five-year and lifetime, was higher inacademic women than in housewives (P <0.001). The frequency of BSE, CBE and mammography was higherin academic women than housewives. For academic women, perceptions related to benefit, self-efficacy, healthmotivation were significantly higher than housewives (t= 3.726, P <0.001; t=8.165, P <0.001, t=2.326; P <0.021,respectively).
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that the risk for developing BC in academic womenis higher than for housewives. Although academic women had more screening performance for early diagnosisof BC, it was still lower than 50%, below the desired level. Education programs should be aimed at increasingwomen’s BC screening behaviors and the positively affect beliefs.