Students' awareness of breast cancer risk factors (results of a sociological study)
The organization of services and measures aiming to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of women who suffer from cancer of reproductive organs remains a pressing issue which has to be addressed at the state level. The rates of breast cancer incidence and mortality in Ukraine are respectively 45% and 56% higher in comparison to the European countries. Each fourth woman is diagnosed with breast cancer at stage 3 or 4, when the effectiveness of treatment is greatly reduced. Early detection of the disease increases the chances for successful treatment in 98.1% of cases.
The aim of the work was to determine the extent of awareness of the breast cancer (BC) prevention methods among the female students as well as to reveal any risk groups for this disease.
The survey material consisted of 240 completed questionnaires. They included thirteen questions about the existence of risk groups and developmental factors, the presence of breast cancer among the relatives of respondents, the methodology of breast self-examination and breast cancer prevention measures. The study used sociological and medical-statistical methods.
The results of the survey reveal the majority of the respondents are aware of the risk for developing breast cancer, only 10.4% marked all the responses about the risk factors for breast cancer, 56.7% believe that they are not at risk of developing breast cancer. Most of the respondents are familiar with the method of breast self-examination. However, only every third respondent does it regularly. About half of the interviewed students visit their gynecologist regularly. Moreover, it will facilitate the process of filling in information gaps regarding breast cancer and methods for its detection, make girls change their attitude to this matter and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own health.
The results of the study show the insufficient awareness level regarding the risk factors causing breast cancer development as well as the low level of caution regarding the possibility of development of this type of cancer.
Furthermore, the present study emphasized the necessity to introduce into the education process the so called «educational» questionnaires, which would not only help find out the extent of students’ awareness of a certain topic but also expand their knowledge of this topic.
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