Knowledge, awareness, attitudes and screening practices towards breast and cervical cancer among women in Nepal: a scoping review

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Knowledge, awareness, attitudes and screening practices towards breast and cervical cancer among women in Nepal: a scoping review


JournalJournal of Public Health
Article typeJournal research article – Clinical research
Publication date – Dec – 2021
Authors – Candice Rademaker, Shital Bhandary, Helena Harder
KeywordsAttitudes, Breast Cancer, cervical cancer, knowledge, Nepal, Screening practices
Open access – Yes
SpecialityObstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgical oncology
World region Southern Asia
Country: Nepal
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on January 3, 2022 at 2:13 am
Abstract:

Aim
Breast and cervical cancers have emerged as major global health challenges and disproportionately affect women in low- and middle-income countries, including Nepal. This scoping review aimed to map the knowledge, attitudes and screening practices for these cancers among Nepali women to improve cancer outcomes and reduce inequality.

Methods
Five electronic databases (CINAHL, Embase, Global Health, PsycINFO and PubMed), grey literature, and reference and citation lists were searched for articles published in English up to June 2021. Articles were screened against inclusion/exclusion criteria, and data from eligible studies were extracted. Results were summarised narratively.

Results
The search yielded 615 articles, 38 of which were included in this scoping review (27 cervical cancer, 10 breast cancer, 1 both cancers). Levels of knowledge regarding breast and cervical varied widely. The main knowledge gaps were misconceptions about symptoms and risk factors, and poor understanding of screening behaviours. Screening practices were mostly inadequate due to socio-cultural, geographical or financial barriers. Positive attitudes towards cervical screening were associated with higher education and increased knowledge of screening modalities. Higher levels of knowledge, (health) literacy and participation in awareness campaigns facilitated breast cancer screening.

Conclusion
Knowledge and screening practices for breast and cervical cancer among Nepali women were poor and highlight the need for awareness and education programmes. Future research should explore community health worker-led awareness and screening interventions for cervical cancer, and programmes to increase the practice of breast self-examination and clinical breast examinations to support early diagnosis of breast cancer.

OSI Number – 21425

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