Knowledge, Attitude about Breast Cancer and Practice of Breast Cancer Screening among Female Health Care Professionals: A Study From Turkey


The awareness of health professionals about breast cancer prevention is of vital importance, since their beliefs and behaviors may have a major impact on other women. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge, and attitudes regarding risk factors for breast cancer as well as screening such as breast self-examiation, clinical breast examination and mammography among different groups of female health professionals. In this cross-sectional study, 444 female health professionals in various health centers located in Çorum Province, Turkey, were interviewed using a self-administered questionnaire. The mean age was 33.1±6.1 and most were married (81.3%). The rate of feeling under risk regarding breast cancer among female health personnel was 31.3%. The majority (98.4 %) perceived breast self-examination as a beneficial method for the early detection of breast cancer. Although 81.3 % of the participants stated that they did breast self examination, only 27.3 % reported doing so on a regular basis (performed monthly or once per menstrual cycle). The most common reason for not doing breast self-examination was the belief that it was not necessary (45.8 %). Of the entire group, the rate of having a mammography was 10.1% and the rate of clinical breast examination was 24.8%. Health professionals are a direct source of medical information to the public. The use of breast self-examination and mammography was found lower than expected when considering the fact that participants were health care professionals.