American Journal of Public Health Research. 2013, 1(6), 135-139DOI:
Abstract: Breast cancer is a global health concern and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among women. It has been identified as a major public health problem in both developed and developing nations because of its high incidence-prevalence, over-burdened health system and direct medical expenditure. Studies have shown that in most of the developing nations breast cancer is diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease when compared with developed nations and thus has a poor outcome and high fatality rate. This paper aims to check the effectiveness of breast self-examination in early detection of the breast cancer. In addition, it plans to consider all the factors which hampers with the uptake of the technique and what all could be planned to improve the current scenario. An extensive search of all materials related to the topic was made using library sources including Pubmed, Medline and google scholar searches. Keywords used in the search include breast self-examination, barriers in breast self-examination and breast cancer. Breast self-examination (BSE) has been identified as the only realistic approach in early detection of breast cancer in developing nations. A wide knowledge-application gap has been observed across the globe between the knowledge and the actual practice of BSE. Multiple socio-demographic factors, myths, cultural beliefs, lack of accessibility to the health care services have been identified as the reasons for the poor uptake of BSE. Considering the potential of BSE, there is an immense need for a public health education program to inculcate the practice of breast self-examination among women to minimize the fear, denial, myths and misconceptions. This requires a sustained political commitment and further studies to recognize the perceived barriers which are interfering with the uptake of BSE so that the greatest challenge of late presentation can be curbed and the chances of survival improved.