Breast Cancer Knowledge and Screening Behavior among Female School Teachers in Gaza City


A cross-sectional survey of 370 female teachers working at Governmental schools in Gaza city was conducted. Twenty four schools were selected randomly of all female schools of the city that included primary, preparatory and secondary. In each school all-female teachers aged 35-45 year were invited to fill out a selfadministered questionnaire to investigate knowledge and behavior toward breast cancer screening. The survey revealed that more than 75% of women had never undergone clinical breast examination and 60% had never undergone mammography, whereas 62% performed breast self-examination (BSE). Women who performed BSE had significantly higher knowledge about breast cancer screening (P=0.001). Women attending CBE and mammography screening also had significantly higher knowledge (P=0.001). There were significant associations between the practices and presence of positive breast cancer family history (P= 0.002) and the level of education of husbands (P=0.024). The oldest women demonstrated higher performance rates of screening methods than the youngest (P = 0.001). Lack of breast screening knowledge was identified among more than one third of the women, and 24.6% of women did not know any screening method. About a half of women harboured misconceptions about breast cancer screening, including the belief that breast cancer not treatable. Women residing in Gaza city (P=0.00) and with husbands less educated were more likely to have a high level of misconceptions (P=0.01).