Breast and cervical cancers are the most common causes of cancer mortality among women in India,but actually they are largely preventable diseases.In India,late presentation which is responsible for high mortality and morbidity and there is limited data from India on this issues.
To know the impact of awareness program on change in adoption of safe practices in prevention and early detection.
This assessment was part of pink chain campaign on cancer awareness during 2011-2013 at various women colleges in India,Pre and post test were conducted before and after cancer awareness program.Literature related to cancer awareness was sent on email ids provided. After completion of 6 months and 1 year, data was collected and analysed from participants to see the change in practice.
A total of 1560 out of 1820 teachers participated in the study(85.71 %) and responded by 1090 and 950 teachers at 6 and 12 months respectively.Mean age of the study population was 42.46 years(28-59 yrs).Cervical cancer risk factors indicated by teachers were smoking(53%),family history(45%) and genital hygiene(36%).Risk factors symptoms and screening of breast cancer were known in 50% of teachers but pap's test was known to 35%. Magazines and newspapers were major source for knowledge for breast cancer screening where 75% teachers were educated by doctors regarding pap's test.At 6 and 12 months,there was a significant change in alcohol and smoking habits along with knowledge for cervical and breast cancer.There was a significant increase in adoption of screening modalities over time.
Level of knowledge of breast cancer was high as compared to cervical cancer.Though there was significant change in practices of BSE, CBE, mammography and pap's test along with smoking and alcohol habits over time.To inculcate safe practices in life style of people, cancer awareness campaign should be conducted more widely and frequently.