“A Study To Assess The Knowledge On Breast Cancer Among Women In A Selected Area, Visakhapatnam”

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Dr. Ceeba Francis , Ch.Lavanya



Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasizing. Metastases are a major cause of death from cancer. According to the World Health Organization, Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Approximately 70 percent of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. About 28,082 people in Andhra Pradesh died of cancer in 2015, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research which finds that breast cancer is common among women followed by cervical cancer.  Between 30–50 percent of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection of cancer and management of patients who develop cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately.  Knowledge serves to be the fundamental key to curb this fatal disease.1,2,6


The objectives of the present study were

  1. To assess the knowledge on breast cancer among women in selected area, Visakhapatnam.

  2. To determine the association between knowledge on breast cancer and selected demographic variables.


A descriptive study was conducted in Sheelanagar, Visakhapatnam from March 2019 – April 2019 in women aged of 21 – 50 years. The sample size was one hundred (100) respondents chosen by convenient sampling technique. Data for the study was collected using self-designed structured questionnaire. Data collected and analyzed by using descriptive statistical methods. Chi square test was used to test association.


Results showed that 38 percent of the study population belonged to age group between 31- 40 years. 46 percent of the study population were Hindus. Most of the study subjects (45 percent) were having secondary level education, were housewives (80 percent) and married (89 percent). 68 percent of the study population belonged to nuclear family. Maximum of the study population were from lower middle class (44 percent), 7 percent of the study subjects had a family history of breast cancer. Among the 100 respondents, 32 percent of them had inadequate knowledge, 53 percent of them had moderately adequate knowledge and only 15 percent of them had adequate knowledge on breast cancer. The range of knowledge score was between 0 – 40. The mean was 23.26 with a standard deviation of 8.9.  There was no significant association between knowledge on breast cancer and demographic variables like age, religion, marital status, type of family, occupation and socio economic status. Education wise, moderately adequate knowledge on breast cancer was demonstrated by those who had graduate level and post graduate level of education (Chi – Square = 35.49).


There is a need for developing health education programs about symptoms and early signs of breast cancer with emphasis on the importance of early breast cancer detection. Breast selfexamination, health education programs and mass media education should be targeted towards females in the age group between 21 years and above, ideally those 35 years of age and above. Further research regarding knowledge and practice of women towards breast cancer is recommended.

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