Prevalence and determinants of breast and cervical cancer screening among women aged between 30 and 49 years in India: Secondary data analysis of National Family Health Survey - 4

Indian J Cancer. 2021 Jan 27. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_576_19. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Breast and cervical cancers are the two leading causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in India. Early diagnosis of these cancers through screening offers the best chance to achieve successful treatment outcomes. Hence, the current study was done to determine the prevalence and predictors of breast and cervical cancer screening among women aged 30-49 years in India.

Methods: We have analyzed the most recent National Family Health Survey-4 data (NFHS-4) gathered from Demographic Health Survey program. Stratification and clustering in the sample design were accounted using svyset command. Adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was reported.

Results: In total, 336,777 women aged 30-49 years were included. Proportion of women aged 30-49 years with history of breast cancer examination in their lifetime was 12.9% (95% CI: 12.6-13.2%), while it was 29.8% (95% CI: 29.3-30.3%) for cervical cancer. It was found that women aged 45-49 years (aPR=1.09), married (aPR=2.18), higher educational level (aPR=1.28), richest quantile (aPR=1.96), no history of pill use (aPR=1.24), obese (aPR=1.06), and healthy dietary habits (aPR=1.47) were more likely to be screened for breast cancer. Predictors for cervical cancer screening were higher age group (aPR=1.06), married (aPR=2.94), secondary educational level (aPR=1.05), richest quantile (aPR=2.24), nonpill user (aPR=1.24), nontobacco user (aPR=1.07), and lower parity (aPR=1.09).

Conclusion: A total of 1 out of 10 women in reproductive age group were screened for breast cancer while less than one in three for cervical cancer. Hence, it is important to spread awareness and increase access to screening services to achieve early diagnosis and better treatment outcomes.

Keywords: Breast cancer; cervical cancer; early detection of cancer; mass screening.