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Barriers and opportunities for early detection of breast cancer in Gaza women

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 3:25pm

A survey of 100 women living inside Gaza (WIG) and 55 Gaza women residing outside Gaza (WOG) was conducted to investigate barriers and opportunities for breast cancer screening, and to better understand possible differences based on residency. The survey found that over 90% of both groups were willing to undergo a diagnostic mammogram for a breast complaint and 86% of WIG and 85% of WOG believed survival was increased with early detection. However, only 27% of WIG and 50% WOG were willing to undergo screening mammography. Religion and culture were not barriers to mammography for over 94% of WIG and 98% of WOG. Limited resources and lack of access to medical facilities were identified as barriers in up to 55% of WIG compared to 15% of WOG. Misconceptions about breast cancer were reported more frequently by WIG, including beliefs that breast cancer is not very common and that breast cancer can be contagious.