, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 149-155
Date: 05 Nov 2011

Public and Professional Educational Needs for Downstaging Breast Cancer in Egypt

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Abstract

We conducted focus groups with women from urban and rural areas in the Nile Delta region to investigate their attitudes regarding breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and screening. Six 60-min focus groups, each group comprised of 6–10 women with ages between 20–69 years, were conducted. Discussions included breast health, breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, early detection and screening, and communication for breast health. Almost all urban and rural women reported that women do not see physicians until they are seriously ill or have advanced cancer. They reported that oncologists or gynecologists were important to be seen first if a woman suspected breast cancer and primary care physician are not the primary line of cancer diagnosis. Other deterring factors besides distrust in primary care physicians included attitude that breast cancer equals death and lack of knowledge of early detection and screening techniques. Women felt that public education campaigns must be implemented to improve early detection and screening methods for breast cancer. The majority of beliefs regarding breast cancer and screening were common among urban and rural women. Culture-specific and tailored professional and public education programs in developing countries are essential for achieving downstaging cancer.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13187-011-0289-9.