Background: Incorporating breast cancer screening into day-to-day clinical care leads to early diagnosis and decreases mortality. Patients' participation in screening depends on their knowledge and attitudes, other barriers, and physician behavior.
Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and practices related to breast cancer screening among Arabic women. A convenience sample was selected from 1,750 women aged 40-65 years who, for any reason, attended primary health care (PHC) clinics in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Results: Of the 1,750 invited women, 1,445 agreed to participate; 78 were excluded from analysis because of histories of breast cancer. Breast self-examination (BSE) was practiced by 12.7% of the study population, clinical breast examination (CBE) by 13.8%, and mammography by 10.3%. Knowledge about breast cancer screening was low in the study population. Women were infrequently instructed about or offered screening for breast cancer by health professionals. Being employed was an independent predictor for participation in the three screening examinations.
Conclusions: Health workers infrequently offered screening examinations and women lacked adequate knowledge about breast cancer screening. Acquired information about barriers to screening may help in the design of effective screening programs for Arabic women.