Breast Cancer Knowledge and Preventive Behavior Among Filipino Women in a Rural Area: A Cross-Sectional Study


1Graduate School of Health Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Japan



Background The incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer are high among Filipino women. The lack of knowledge on preventive behavior and early detection related to breast cancer is considered a reason. Objectives This study aimed to determine the association between knowledge about breast cancer and selected sociodemographic characteristics, daily life factors, reproductive factors, and perceived breast cancer risk factors. Patients and Methods This study used a cross-sectional design. The study population consisted of 527 women. Interviews were conducted by the investigators. The contents of the questionnaire collected basic characteristics of the respondents, including their sociodemographic profiles, their knowledge of breast cancer risk factors, preventive behaviors, early detection, and their daily life and reproductive factors. Predictor variables were analyzed using a Chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and a t-test. Multivariate logistic regression was applied for any significant differences (P < 0.005) among the predictor variables. One-way ANOVA and Tukey’s HDS were used to evaluate the association between education level and reproductive factors. Results Less than half of the women (42.7%) had knowledge on breast cancer risk factors, and an equivalent number had knowledge on breast cancer symptoms. Women with higher educational levels were noted to give birth to their first child at a significantly older age and have a significantly lower number of childbirths. Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that body mass index, education history, knowledge about symptoms, knowing how to conduct a breast self-examination, family history of cancer, and passive smoking could predict breast cancer knowledge. Conclusions Women who were aware of risk factors for breast cancer possessed a higher education level and had knowledge of the association of risk factors with preventive behaviors and early detection. However, a minority of women (42.7%) knew enough about breast cancer, preventive behaviors, and what actions to take for early detection.