Breast Cancer Screening:Are ‘At Risk Population’ Known by Public Health Nurse Practitioners?
Introduction: Health care providers, especially Public Health Nurse who come in regular contact with women, can play an important role in providing the information regarding breast cancer. Hence this study is undertaken to assess the knowledge of risk factors associated with breast cancer and screening for breast cancer among Public Health nurse practitioners.
Method: This is a cross-sectional study designed to assess the Knowledge of risk factors associated with breast cancer and screening for breast cancer among Public Health nurse practitioners working in the Health centres of Dept of Community Medicine of Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences. All (30) Public Health nurse practitioners in the Seven Primary care facilities participated in the study.
Results: Fourteen percent of Public Health Nurse knew that most common cancer among women was breast cancer. However, 43% were aware that the obesity increased the risk of developing breast cancer. Whereas 60% were aware that nulliparity was a risk factor for developing breast cancer and 43% said having 2 or more children decreased the risk of developing breast cancer. However, 33% knew breast feeding was protective against breast cancer. Moreover, early menstruation and late menarche were known to be risk factors by 20% each, and 33% knew physical activity could be a preventive factor for Breast cancer. 96% were aware that a lump in the breast was a sign of breast cancer and 56% said discharge from the nipple was also a sign of cancer in the breast. All 100% knew that Breast Self-Examination was a screening method and only 20% were aware that clinical examination was also a method for identification of breast cancer.
Conclusion: District Health Authorities should periodically train public health nurses to improve their knowledge regarding risk factors, early signs and symptoms of breast cancer and method of cancer screening. This intern would help them to educate, suspect, and detect the breast cancer among the risk population at the earliest.
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