Document Type : Original Article


1 Departments of Surgery Student, Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan

2 Departments of Surgery and Paediatric Medicine, Civil Hospital,


BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause
of cancer death in females’ worldwide. Pakistan has higher incidence of the disease than the
neighboring countries and one in every nine Pakistani women suffers from breast cancer which is
one of the highest incidence rate in Asia. Numerous risk factors such as nulliparity, family history,
genetic mutations, increasing age, early menarche, and late menopause are associated with the
development of breast cancer. Lack of awareness and the preexisting myths regarding this disease
have led to the detection of breast cancer at a later stage.
OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study is to determine the frequency of adequate breast
cancer knowledge and its level among nonmedical women of Karachi coming to attend general
surgery outpatient clinics.
METHODS: A cross‑sectional Study was conducted in Outpatient Clinics, Department of General
Surgery, Civil Hospital, Karachi. The sample of 250 females with nonmedical background was gathered
from December 27, 2016 to June 26, 2017. Adequate breast cancer knowledge was divided into
three criteria such as poor, fair, and good knowledge. Chi‑square test was applied. P ≤ 0.05 was
considered as statistically significant.
RESULTS: The mean age was 35.63 ± 9.56 years. Mean knowledge score was 5.24 ± 2.92.
Overall, 42% of participants were found with adequate breast cancer knowledge whereas 58% of the
participants had inadequate knowledge. Based on the study questionnaire, 38% had poor knowledge,
40.4% had fair knowledge, and 21.6% had good knowledge. Significant association was observed
with age, monthly family income, education status, and occupation.
CONCLUSION: The results showed lack of adequate knowledge. A high proportion (58%) of
nonmedical females had inadequate knowledge about breast cancer.


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