Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The aim of this study was to elicit the level of breast cancer awareness in older women. A cross-sectional study-specific questionnaire survey of 712 British women aged 67-73 years (response rate 83.8%), assessing knowledge of symptoms and risk and confidence to detect a change, was conducted. Over 85% of respondents were aware that a lump was a symptom of breast cancer but knowledge of non-lump symptoms was limited. Knowledge of risk was poor; 50% believed that the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer was less than 1 in 100 women and 75% were not aware that age is a risk factor. Thirty-one percent of women reported low levels of confidence to detect a breast change and 19% rarely or never checked their breasts. Those with fewer educational qualifications had poorer knowledge of symptoms, less awareness of lifetime and age-related risks, but were more likely to check their breasts than more highly educated women. This national survey demonstrates a significant lack of the prerequisite knowledge and confidence to detect a breast change. Raising breast cancer awareness and promoting early presentation among older women is important, as they are more at risk of breast cancer and more likely to delay seeking help with breast cancer symptoms than younger women.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/sj.bjc.6604668

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br J Cancer

Publication Date

21/10/2008

Volume

99

Pages

1221 - 1225

Keywords

Aged, Awareness, Breast Neoplasms, Breast Self-Examination, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom