Department of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery School, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran
Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. A very important factor in the timely treatment and prevention of progression is high breast cancer awareness. Rural women are at risk of latte stage breast cancer due to poor education and lack of access to medical facilities. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional-descriptive study was conducted on 266 women (out of 300) aged over 18 in rural areas of Zabol, Southeastern Iran during July 2015 to October 2015. The data collection tool was a researcher-made questionnaire that measured participant knowledge of breast cancer in four aspects (general awareness, risk factors, mammography, and symptoms). SPSS 22 was used for statistical analysis. Results: Out of 266 participants, age information was available for 261. The age range was between 19 and 62, with a mean of 272.1 years. Most participants (154, 57.9%) had an average overall awareness of breast cancer. In the general awareness dimension, most participants (130, 48.9%) had poor scores. Most (166, 62.4%) also had average awareness about risk factors and many (137, 51.5%) had good awareness about mammography. Most participants did not know that changes in breast shape (232, 88.2%), dimpling of breast skin (192, 72.3%) and nipple discharge (183, 69.6%) are the main symptoms of breast cancer. ANOVA statistical analysis showed a significant relationship between awareness level and participant education and occupation (<0.05). Conclusions: This study indicated average awareness of participants about breast cancer. Since rural women have lower levels of education, it is recommended that educational courses with contents about breast cancer, its risk factors, and symptoms be held for these women.