Breast Cancer Awareness among Female School Teachers in Saudi Arabia: A Population Based Survey

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Consultant General Surgery, Department of General Surgery, Alnoor Specialized Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

2 Department of Obstetric and Gynecology, Maternity and Children’s Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

3 Resident Community Medicine, Saudi Arabia.

4 Department of Obstetric and Gynecology, Armed Forces Hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia.

5 Department of General Surgery, King Faisal General Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

6 Department of Obstetric and Gynecology, Heraa General Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

Introduction: Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequent malignancy in women and second leading cause of cancer related death worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, it is the ninth leading cause of death. Few studies have been conducted to address BC awareness in KSA in general and to our knowledge, this is the first to be conducted in the Makkah region. Aim: To assess the level of awareness, knowledge and attitude of Saudi female teachers towards BC, in primary intermediate and secondary schools within the Makkah region. Method and Materials: The study proposal was approved by the Research Ethical Committee in the faculty of medicine, at Umm Al-Qura University. A self-administered questionnaire on BC was designed and tested. The questionnaire consisted of 23 items and covered four domains (awareness about the etiology, knowledge about BC risk factors, symptoms, knowledge about diagnosis and treatment& attitude toward screening). A sample of 400 female school teachers (working in primary, intermediate and secondary schools) were selected by multistage, random sampling. A selection of forty schools, with a sample of 10 teachers from each, was chosen at random in Makkah.  Proper permission was obtained from the authorities. the questionnaire was filled out by each participant. The collected data was statistically analyzed using SPSS version 21. Results: The results showed that knowledge and attitude about BC amongst the female teachers differed significantly by age and marital status. Those aged 46-55 (F=8.5, p>0.002) and those who are married (F=2.7, p>0.04) had more knowledge about BC than others. The majority of respondents had a limited level of knowledge and understanding of BC symptoms (Table 2). However, it also showed that the teachers are very enthusiastic to learn about BC, and its prevention. Most participants (40/%) reported that they had not performed any breast exams before. Conclusions and Recommendation: This study indicated that Saudi female teachers’ level of knowledge of BC is inadequate. Introducing and developing an effective health education program in female schools within KSA is recommended.

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