Abstract Title

Breast Health - Guidelines and Misconceptions

RAD Assignment Number

2108

Presenter Name

Katherine Cantu, CHES

Abstract

Objective: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2016), breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women. Due to the high incidence and prevalence of breast cancer, the CDC has proposed guidelines in place for self-assessment and early detection. It is crucial for women to understand risk factors and symptoms associated with breast cancer. Despite the wide spread efforts in publishing these guidelines, the level of awareness regarding breast health among women in unclear. This study aimed to assess the level of breast health knowledge among women of Tarrant County, Texas and to evaluate the effectiveness of a lay health breast educator training initiative.

Methods: The initiative conducted “train-the-trainer” educational events, where women in the community completed a lay breast health educator training session. Pre and post surveys to assess changes in breast health awareness were administered during the training. The next component was to evaluate the knowledge of the women who received a screening at any one of the nine different breast cancer screening locations throughout Tarrant County. The lay breast health educators’ role was not to only share information about breast health, but also to promote attendance at the screening day.

Results: A total of 134 women participated, 43 women completed pre and post survey at training and 91 women completed survey on the screening day. Over half of the participants were between the ages of 40-59, have had at least some college, and identified as either African American/Black or as Hispanic/Latina. A vast majority were aware of lump related symptoms of breast cancer. However, participants lacked awareness on other key symptoms.

Conclusion: This study indicated a general lack of knowledge regarding breast cancer awareness, and a need to promote non-lump related symptoms along with other risk factors of breast cancer. Lay breast health educators’ knowledge of breast cancer signs increased immediately following the an hour long training session, suggesting that the knowledge learned is beneficial to their personal efficacy and ability to recognize breast cancer symptoms.

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Breast Health - Guidelines and Misconceptions

Objective: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2016), breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women. Due to the high incidence and prevalence of breast cancer, the CDC has proposed guidelines in place for self-assessment and early detection. It is crucial for women to understand risk factors and symptoms associated with breast cancer. Despite the wide spread efforts in publishing these guidelines, the level of awareness regarding breast health among women in unclear. This study aimed to assess the level of breast health knowledge among women of Tarrant County, Texas and to evaluate the effectiveness of a lay health breast educator training initiative.

Methods: The initiative conducted “train-the-trainer” educational events, where women in the community completed a lay breast health educator training session. Pre and post surveys to assess changes in breast health awareness were administered during the training. The next component was to evaluate the knowledge of the women who received a screening at any one of the nine different breast cancer screening locations throughout Tarrant County. The lay breast health educators’ role was not to only share information about breast health, but also to promote attendance at the screening day.

Results: A total of 134 women participated, 43 women completed pre and post survey at training and 91 women completed survey on the screening day. Over half of the participants were between the ages of 40-59, have had at least some college, and identified as either African American/Black or as Hispanic/Latina. A vast majority were aware of lump related symptoms of breast cancer. However, participants lacked awareness on other key symptoms.

Conclusion: This study indicated a general lack of knowledge regarding breast cancer awareness, and a need to promote non-lump related symptoms along with other risk factors of breast cancer. Lay breast health educators’ knowledge of breast cancer signs increased immediately following the an hour long training session, suggesting that the knowledge learned is beneficial to their personal efficacy and ability to recognize breast cancer symptoms.