Breast cancer knowledge, practice of preventive measures and associated factors among rural women aged 20 – 49 years in Kigulu County, Iganga District
Naitala, Ronald Andrew
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Background: In Uganda 1,100 women die of breast cancer every year, with a patient peak age of 30 -39 years, majority of patients present late at stage III and IV. Early detection remains a major effective approach to combat the disease. The issue of concern, however, is whether women in the rural underserved areas in Uganda are knowledgeable about breast cancer risk factors and practice preventive measures. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess knowledge and preventive practices about breast cancer and associated factors, among rural women aged 20-49 years in Kigulu County. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted between 1st and 12th /June/ 2016, involving 790 rural women aged 20-49 years and residents of Kigulu County, Iganga District. Participants were selected by multistage stratified sampling and interviewed about selected aspects of breast cancer knowledge and practice using pretested structured questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to detect predictors of knowledge and practice of preventive measures. Confounding was assessed if the difference between Crude Odds ratio and Adjusted Odds ratio was ≥ 10% Results: The proportion with adequate breast cancer knowledge was relatively low (22%) and the proportion of those who irregularly practiced preventive measures was high (80%). Key predictors of level of knowledge were: education level: primary (AOR = 1.86; 95% CI 1.02 – 3.4) and Tertiary(AOR = 4.87; 95% CI 1.79 – 13.29), occupation; trader (AOR = 0.57, 95% CI 0.36 - 0.89) and unemployed (AOR = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.22 - 0.66), And key predictors of level of preventive practice were: age;30-39 (AOR = 0.47; 95% CI: 0.24 – 0.90), family history (AOR = 2.84, 95% CI: 1.51-5.34), knowledge of signs, (AOR = 2.01, 95% CI 1.14 – 3.54), ever heard of mammography (AOR = 2.59, 95% CI: 1.51-4.45). Conclusions: Few women had adequate knowledge about breast cancer and majority of the women were irregularly practiced preventive measures. Factors associated with level of breast cancer knowledge were; education and occupation while factors associated with level of preventive practice measures were age, family history, knowledge of signs and ever heard of mammography.