Original Article

Barriers on Breast Cancer Early Detection Methods


  • Yasemin Erkal Aksoy
  • Esin Çeber Turfan
  • Ebru Sert
  • Gülengül Mermer

Received Date: 27.07.2014 Accepted Date: 20.11.2014 Eur J Breast Health 2015;11(1):26-30


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women throughout the world. It is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths, after lung cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Turkey with a rate of 23,4%. One out of every four women has breast cancer. This study was conducted to determine the barriers on methods of early diagnosis of breast cancer.

Materials and Methods:

The research population consisted of women over the age of 40 years who live in the neighborhood of Doğanlar (N=2404). The sample size was determined (n=251) with Epi İnfo Statcalc account program with 95% confidence interval, with the incidence of breast cancer accepted as 24%. Women over the age of 40 years who agreed to participate were included in the study. In order to collect the necessary data, a 27-item questionnaire including socio-demographic characteristics and methods of early diagnosis was created according to the literature. This study was conducted between March-October 2012 in Doğanlar neighborhood.


Two-hundred-fifty-four women participated in the study, with a mean age of 54,27±1, and an average monthly income of 895,0197 TL (min=0 TL, max=7000 TL). 79,1% were married, 89,8% were housewives, 56,7% were literate, and 83,1% had health insurance. The status of performing regular Breast Self Examination (BSE) was significantly higher in women who had knowledge about BSE, (p=0.000). Married (p=0.015) women and those who had a social security system (p=0.048) had significantly higher rates of mammography. Women who were informed on mammography (p=0.000) had significantly higher rates of mammography. When reasons for not getting mammography was addressed, it was observed that 99,2% was due to lack of information and education. Women who had regular BSE had significantly higher Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) (p=0.024). Women’s sociodemographic characteristics did not affect the status of performing regular BSE and CBE significantly.


Barriers against implementation of breast cancer screening methods in women were related to level of education and lack of adequate information about breast cancer screening, and symptoms of breast cancer. Women’s lack of information about signs, symptoms and treatment in the early stages of breast cancer needs to be eliminated. Health care providers may have a key role in increasing breast cancer early detection rates.

Keywords: Breast cancer, early detection, barriers