Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of death in women worldwide. This study aimed to assess awareness of breast cancer and breast self-examination practices among Cambodian women.
The cross-sectional study was conducted among 268 females aged 20-59 years, who visited outpatient departments of three health centers in the Siem Reap province, Cambodia. A questionnaire was performed for data collection. Descriptive statistics, independent samples T-test, one-way ANOVA, and a Chi-square test were utilized to analyze data with SPSS version 25.0.
The awareness of breast cancer scores were 9.85 for knowledge of breast cancer risk factors, 12.76 for knowledge of breast cancer warning signs and symptoms, and 23.21 for attitude to breast cancer prevention. Half of the participants (51.1%) had ever performed breast self-examination during their lifetime, and slightly fewer (50.4%) had practiced breast self-examination in the past 12 months. The lifetime breast self-examination performance and practice of breast-self-examination in the past 12 months were significantly associated with marital status, oral contraceptive use, and having a history of breast problems. The practice of breast self-examination in the past 12 months was significantly associated with a woman’s attitude to breast cancer prevention.
The study shows that Cambodian women have a low level of awareness of breast cancer and breast self-examination practices. Breast self-examination practices were significantly associated with a positive attitude to breast cancer prevention. This implies that there is a need for healthcare workers to provide effective educational breast cancer programs and breast self-examination screening for women to improve their knowledge, positive attitude to breast cancer prevention, and breast self-examination practices.