Perception of Breast Cancer Screening among Iranian Women without Experience of Mammography: A Qualitative Study


Background: In Iran, there are high rates of breast cancer. It is among the five most common cancers, thefirst among cancers diagnosed, and is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Iranian women.
Objectives: Thepurpose of this qualitative study was to explore perception of breast cancer screening among Iranian women whohave never had a mammograph. Materials and
Methods: The current study was part of a qualitative researchconducted by means of content analysis method and purposive sampling of 16 women over the age of 30 yearswho had not undergone mammography using individual semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recordedand transcribed verbatim. The data were under continuous consideration and comparative analysis in order toachieve data saturation.
Results: After codification of data, three concept categories were achieved including: i)low awareness, ii) worries, and iii) lack of motivation.
Conclusions: Although there is a tendency among Iranianwomen to participate in breast cancer screening, there is a powerful cultural belief that breasts are sexual organsthat should not be discussed publicly. Due to the incidence of breast cancer in Iranian women, it is critical thatbreast awareness education be performed by health care experts to explore the concepts of breast cancer andbreast cancer screening.