Background: Breast self examination (BSE), performed regularly every month, is one of the most importantmethods in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. This study was performed with the aim of establishing theknowledge, attitudes, and behavior of women working in government hospitals within the province of Samsunregarding BSE. Materials and
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between January-March 2012,on a total of 550 women (500 health personnel, and 50 general administration services (GAS) workers) from 7government hospitals and the Cancer Early Diagnosis, Screening, and Education Centre (CEDSEC). Percentageswere used for the descriptive statistics, and the chi-square test for the evaluation of statistical importance. Valuesof p<0.05 were accepted as significant.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 36.2± 15.3, and 42.5% werein the 30-39 year old age group, 78.0% being married. Seventy-eight point four percent (78.4%) of the healthpersonnel and 76.0% of the GAS workers performed BSE. However, the rates of performing BSE regularlyevery month were only 25.6% and 5.0%. Within the health personnel, 1.4% stated that they did not performBSE because they found it unnecessary as they had no history of breast cancer in their family, 3.6% did not doso due to fear and stress, 13.2% because they forgot, and 14.6% because they had no complaints. Some 22.2% ofthe health personnel and 52.0% of the GAS workers had undergone mammographic evaluation, the differencebeing significant (p<0.05), 84.1% of the health personnel and 61.9% of the GAS workers knowing symptoms ofbreast cancer.
Conclusions: Women in society should be brought to a certain level of awareness and knowledgeregarding BSE. It is of the utmost importance that health personnel, who carry the responsibility for counselingand enlightening society, should interiorize the necessary knowledge, attitudes and behavior.