Epidemiological Study on Breast Cancer Associated Risk Factors and Screening Practices among Women in the Holy City of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India


Background: Breast cancer is the second most cause of death (1.38 million, 10.9% of all cancer) worldwide after lung cancer. In present study, we assess the knowledge, level of awareness of risk factors and screening practices especially breast self examination (BSE) among women, considering the non-feasibility of diagnostic tools such as mammography for breast screening techniques of breast cancer in the holy city Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional population based survey was conducted. The investigation tool adopted was self administrated questionnaire format. Data were analysed using SPSS 20 version and Chi square test to determine significant association between various education groups with awareness and knowledge, analysis of variance was applied in order to establish significance.
Results: The attitude of participants in this study, among 560 women 500 (89%) responded (age group 18-65 years), 53.8% were married. The knowledge about BSE was very low (16%) and out of them 15.6% were practised BSE only once in life time. study shown that prominent age at which women achieve their parity was 20 yrs, among 500 participants 224 women have achieved their parity from age 18 to 30 yrs. Very well known awareness about risk factors of breast cancer were alcohol (64.6%), smoking (64%) and least known awareness risk factors were early menarche (17.2%) and use of red meat (23%). The recovery factors of breast cancer cases were doctors support (95%) and family support (94.5%) as most familiar responses of the holy city Varanasi.
Conclusions: The study revealed that the awareness about risk factors and practised of BSE among women in Varanasi is extremely low in comparison with other cities and countries as well (Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, Turkey and Nigeria). However, doctors and health workers may promote the early diagnosis of breast cancer.