Family affects reproductive-age women behavior in preventing breast cancer

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and causes the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women. Many breast cancer patients coming in advanced stage condition are too late in getting medical treatment. This is related to the low interest of women of childbearing age in making prevention efforts through early detection of breast cancer. In an effort to overcome breast cancer, the government has implemented an early breast cancer detection program with Self Breast Examination (BSE) and Clinical Breast Examination but the interest of women of childbearing age to do so is still low.

In 2018, an estimated 627,000 women will die of breast cancer. Data from GLOBOCAN 2018 showed that, in Indonesia, there were 58,256 new cases of breast cancer with a mortality rate of 22,692. There is an early breast cancer detection program as a preventative measure to find out early breast cancer, but the incidence of breast cancer is still high. Most women of reproductive age still rarely do breast self-examination. The prevalence of breast cancer can be reduced by increasing prevention behavior by routine health checks, stay away from cigarette smoke, regular physical activity, a healthy diet with balanced nutrition, regular rest and stress management. Breast cancer prevention behavior can be seen more through internal factors (within oneself) and external factors (environmental factors).

This research was conducted in the working area of Pacar Keling Health Center in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia in 110 women of reproductive age. Data were collected using a questionnaire on knowledge, attitudes, family support and breast cancer prevention behavior. In the process of collecting data, researchers coordinate with midwives and village cadres to conduct sampling by selecting respondents randomly according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data is collected at integrated healthcare service for mother and child (posyandu) activities and at the cadre’s home by first seeking approval from respondents.

The results of this study indicate that there is a relationship between knowledge, attitudes and family support for breast cancer prevention behavior in women of childbearing age. The majority of women have less knowledge as they believe that breast cancer is only marked by a lump when there are actually many other signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Someone with good knowledge will be able to do breast cancer prevention such as breast self-exam and avoid breast cancer risk factors. The majority of women have a negative attitude because they have the perception that if they feel healthy there is no need to do breast self-examination. The woman also does not do a clinical breast examination again if she does not find a lump in the previous examination.

The process of conducting a clinical breast examination requires high discipline, because it must be done routinely every month. A positive attitude can encourage someone to do breast cancer prevention behavior even though they do not feel symptoms of breast cancer. The majority of women also have less family support because families do not know about breast cancer prevention behavior so they cannot participate in helping women to prevent breast cancer. Family support by providing information about the importance of early detection will improve women’s behavior in preventing breast cancer. Health workers need to provide health education about the importance of breast self-examination and clinical breast examination by involving families so that they can provide support to women of reproductive age. Breast self examination needs to be done routinely by every woman of childbearing age, even though they do not find breast problems, as an early detection of breast cancer.

Author: Dr. Mira Triharini, S.Kp., M.Kep Details of this research available at: https://www.psychosocial.com/article/PR270879/19217/

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