Determinants of Compliance to Breast Cancer Screening and Referral in Low Socio-Economic Regions of Urban India

Sheetal V. Kulkarni, Gauravi A. Mishra, Rohit R. Dusane


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women globally and also in India. Early detection by screening is likely to reduce mortality and improve survival. To study the determinants of compliance to BC screening and referral by women in a community based BC screening programme in urban India.

Methods: A community‑based one‑time cancer screening programme, implemented in the urban slums of Mumbai, India. The programme involves screening for breast cancer by Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) performed by trained primary health
workers (PHWs), referral of screen‑positive women to the nodal hospital for further investigations, confrmation of diagnosis and treatment. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis in SPSS version 16 was used.

Results: The compliance to screening, referral and treatment were 90.58%, 74.22% and 100% respectively. The results of multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrate literate women, having family history of cancer, with tobacco habit, being treated for breast abnormalities, being ever pregnant and having history of contraceptive use were positive predictors while, women belonging to Muslim religion or speaking mother‑tongue other than Marathi or Hindi were negative predictors of participation to screening. Educational status was the only signifcant predictor of compliance to referral. Screen‑positive women with education of secondary school level or more were more likely to comply with referral.

Conclusions: The programme ensured good compliance with screening, referral and treatment indicating feasibility and acceptability of CBE based BC screening programme by the community.

Keywords: Awareness, breast cancer, compliance, counseling, screening

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