3Prince Sultan Medical Military Hospital, and Zhejiang University
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women globally as well as in Saudi Arabia. Early diagnosis can improve prognosis and breast self-examination (BSE) may be a cost effective way to achieve this. In Saudi Arabia, only a few studies have been conducted to address breast cancer awareness. Most showed a suboptimal level of understanding. During the last few years, Saudi Arabia has established many national campaigns to increase awareness of the disease and facilitate learning about different diagnostic procedures. This cross-sectional survey study was conducted in accordance to assess the current knowledge and practices of women regarding breast self-examination and mammography screening in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The sample comprised of 137 females aged 18 and older. Data were collected using face-to-face interviews with a modified Arabic version of a validated questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS. Similar to previous studies’, the results were suboptimal. Out of the 137, about 54% claimed they are aware of breast cancer and BSE, however, only 62% of them knew how to conduct self-examination. Far fewer were aware of mammography screening (38%). When asked about the source of breast cancer information, most of the women answered awareness campaigns (39%) while school/university and TV (22% each) were the sources for others. This highlights the importance and urgent need for continued awareness campaigns. Moreover, special awareness sessions need to be conducted in institutions like colleges, universities, and hospitals where the proportion of females is higher.