Awareness and Practices Regarding Breast and Cervical Cancer among Turkish Women in Gazientep


Background: Cancer is a major public health problem both in our country and worldwide due to its diseaseburden, fatality and tendency for increased incidence. In Turkey, breast cancer ranks first with an incidence of41.6% and cervical cancer is the tenth most common cancer with an incidence of 4.4%. Objectives and Design:This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted with 240 women aged from 15 to 65 years admitted toa gynecology-obstetrics outpatient clinic of a private hospital in Gaziantep. Study data were collected by theinvestigators through a 36-item questionnaire form which was generated using information gathered from similarsurveys in the literature.
Results: It was determined that 34.6% of women were high-school graduates, and64.2% had a medium income level. The majority (79.2%) stated that they never performed BSE and 49.5% ofthem said that they did not know how to do it. Some 79.2% did not know what a Pap smear was and 73.3% hadnot experienced a smear test ever.
Conclusions: In this study, we found that most of the women had insufficientknowledge of breast and cervical cancer, while knowledge and practices increased with the education level.Based on these findings, we suggest that there is a need for planning, implementation and assessment of healthpolicies and healthcare services at the national and regional level and we believe that nurses working in the fieldof protective health services should develop educational programmes for women with a primary focus on cancerin order to increase awareness among the female population in Turkey.