Awareness of Breast Cancer Risk Factors, Symptoms and Breast Self-Examination Among Omani Female Teachers: A cross-sectional study

Zuweina Al-Ismaili, Khalid Al-Nasri, Amal Al-Yaqoobi, Ahmed Al-Shukaili


Objectives: This study aimed to assess knowledge of breast cancer (BC) risk factors, warning signs and symptoms and breast self-examination (BSE) practice among Omani female teachers in Al-Dhahira Governorate. Methods: A cross-sectional sample of female teachers aged 20–50 years was collected from January to December 2018 from three wilayats (provinces) in Al-Dhahira—Ibri, Dhank and Yunqal. A questionnaire that included the Breast Cancer Awareness Scale and demographic characteristics was administered. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, regression analysis and Pearson’s Chi-square test. Results: A total of 478 female teachers were included in the study (response rate: 72.4%). The majority of participants (60.5%) had good overall knowledge about BC while 19.9% of participants had excellent overall knowledge. Only 9% of participants demonstrating excellent knowledge of BC risk factors. More than half of the participants (56.1%) reported excellent knowledge in screening methods. Unfortunately, only 57% of the female teachers indicated practising BSE. Knowledge of BC symptoms was closely divided between excellent and good levels (45.8 and 42.5%, respectively). BSE practice was significantly (P <0.05) correlated with overall knowledge of BC and its symptoms and screening methods, but not with knowledge of BC risk factors. Conclusion: This study revealed unsatisfactory overall knowledge of BC risk factors, symptoms, screening methods and BSE practice among female Omani teachers in Al-Dhahira Governorate. These findings constitute a challenge to healthcare providers to continue developing awareness of BC and providing health information to the public.

Keywords: Breast Cancer; Awareness; Knowledge; Breast Self-Examination; Risk factors; Signs and Symptoms; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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