Factors influencing breast cancer screening practices among women of reproductive age in South Kayonza District, Rwanda

Can Oncol Nurs J. 2021 Jul 1;31(3):251-257. doi: 10.5737/23688076313251257. eCollection 2021 Summer.


Introduction: Breast cancer in Rwanda is a major concern for women's health, as most breast cancer diagnoses are made at an advanced stage. Yet, diagnosis can be done early with breast cancer screening practices.

Aim: To assess factors influencing breast cancer screening practices among women of reproductive age in South Kayonza District of Rwanda.

Methodology: A quantitative survey was conducted with 246 women between 16 and 49 years of age from four health centres in South Kayonza District. A structured, pretested, and self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the influence of knowledge, health facilities, and socioeconomic and cultural factors on breast screening practices among women in South Kayonza.

Result: Among all respondents, 55.5% had moderate knowledge about breast cancer risk factors and 60.2% also had moderate knowledge on the influence of breast cancer screening. While 28% were knowledgeable about Breast Self-Examination (BSE), 16.4% were knowledgeable about Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) and breast ultrasound. Responses about the practice of breast screening in the last two years showed 72% of respondents had never practiced BSE and 81.3% had not used CBE or breast ultrasound scan. The main source of information about breast cancer screening was the radio, used by 30.4% of respondents. Significant relationships were found between age and marital status with breast cancer screening practices.

Conclusion: This study revealed low levels of knowledge about breast cancer, breast cancer screening, and practice regarding breast cancer screening. There is a need to promote awareness of breast cancer and create a program, which can influence breast cancer screening knowledge and practice to ultimately improve health among women in south Kayonza.

Keywords: breast cancer screening; influence; practice.