Document Type: Research Articles
National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation; Postgraduate Program in Public Health and Environment, Brazil.
Federal University of Acre; Postgraduate Program in Public Health, Brazil.
Background: A general lack of women`s awareness of breast cancer has been one of the barriers to screening and early presentation. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate levels of knowledge about risk factors, and early warning signs of breast cancer, and to determine factors associated with better levels of comprehension. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out among 478 women over 40 years old, living in Rio Branco city, western Amazon. All were interviewed using the "Breast cancer knowledge, attitudes and practice scale", developed by American Cancer Society. Results: Among the respondents, only 28.6% of women were aware that advanced age highly increases the risk. Around 30% of participants recognized nipple retraction as a sign of breast cancer. Breast cancer knowledge varied according to age in such a way that the mean scores were high from 40-69 years and decreased dramatically among those aged ≥70 (β=-0.06,p=0.031). Access to health services such as the Pap-test (β=2.45,p=0.027) and attending a gynecologist in the past two years (β=1.88,p=0.005) were statistically associated with the score of breast cancer knowledge. Conclusion: The findings indicate that women living in urban areas, having gynecological assessment, considering herself at high risk of developing breast cancer and thinking that breast cancer is a fatal disease are statistically asso