Are women in Kuwait aware of breast cancer and its diagnostic procedures?



The aim of this study was to examine the knowledge and awareness of women in Kuwait with regard to risk factors, symptoms and diagnostic procedures of breast cancer. A total of 521 questionnaires were distributed among women in Kuwait. Results showed that 72% of respondents linked breast cancer factors to family history, while 69.7% scored abnormal breast enlargement as the most detectable symptom of the disease. Some 84% of participants had heard about self-examination, but knowledge about mammograms was limited to 48.6% and only 22.2% were familiar with diagnostic procedures. Some 22.9% of respondents identified the age over 40 years as the reasonable age to start mammogram screening. Risk factor awareness was independent on age groups (p>0.05), but both high education and family history increased the likelihood of postivie answers; the majority knew about a few factors such as aging, pregnancy after age 30, breast feeding for short time, menopause after age of 50, early puberty, and poor personal hygiene. In conclusion, 43.1% of participants had an overall good knowledge of breast cancer with regards to symptoms, risk factors and breast examination. Very highly significant associations (p<0.005) were evident for all groups except for respondents distributed by nationality (p=0.444). Early campaigns for screening the breast should be recommended to eliminate the confusion of wrong perceptions about malignant mammary disease.