Awareness and Knowledge of Breast Cancer and Mammography among a Group of Malaysian Women in Shah Alam


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess awareness and knowledge of breast cancer and mammography among Malaysian women in Shah Alam.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted among 250 Malaysian women. Data were collected using a self administrated questionnaire which included questions on socio-demographic data, knowledge of breast cancer and awareness of mammography.
Results: Mean age of respondents was 28 ± 9.2 with 69.2% aged 18 to 29 years. The majority had heard about breast cancer (81.2%) and indicated books, magazines and brochures as their source of information (55.2%). However, most did not know about signs and symptoms of breast cancer and many of its risk factors. On multivariate analysis, significant predictors of breast cancer knowledge were age, race, marital status, level of education, occupation, family size and family history of other cancers (p<0.05). Fifty percent of women were aware of mammography, significant predictors being age, occupation, marital status and knowledge of breast cancer (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Most women were aware of breast cancer. However, the knowledge about signs and symptoms of breast cancer and awareness of mammography were inadequate. It is recommended that the level of knowledge should be raised among Malaysian women, particularly in the young and less educated women.