A review study in the United Kingdom has revealed that public health interventions like awareness campaigns were found to play a significant role in increasing breast self-examination and enhancing the number of women undergoing screening procedures for breast cancer.
Breast cancer mortality and morbidity
Breast cancer is a malignancy of the lining of milk ducts (ductal carcinoma) or the lobules of the breast (lobular carcinoma). Globally, breast cancer in women in developing countries is a major public health concern as it causes mortality and morbidity. Therefore, comprehensive intervention strategies are needed for reducing the mortality of breast cancer and improving the quality of life. Generally, different intervention methods of screening, diagnosis, and treatment play a key role in reducing the onset and prevention of breast cancer.
Diagnostic mammography is one of the screening methods that can potentially increase the early detection of breast cancer and provide a gateway for effective treatment methods. A review study by Lusher and co-researchers at the School of Psychology in London was carried out for understanding the potential contribution of interventions for breast cancer. This information, related to public health screening awareness of breast cancer, was published in the Journal of Health Psychology.
Breast cancer initiative study
In a period between October 2012 and February 2013, a study was performed by scientists for understanding the effect of screening interventions on breast cancer in women. A review on breast cancer was carried out by analyzing academic, peer-reviewed literature found through an exhaustive search using the British Nursing Index (BNI), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), Embase, Medline, and PsycINFO databases.
Researchers gathered information from breast cancer literature information on female humans of all age groups. Researchers identified 867 articles related to interventions of breast cancer awareness and breast self-examination (BSE). Of these articles, 14 full-length articles contained information on breast cancer awareness interventions and their impact on BSE behaviours and enhanced breast cancer screening attendance.
Interestingly, there were only five studies representing breast cancer screening uptake while nine studies reported on public health initiatives like Promoting Early Presentation (PEP) interventions. In addition, the various methodologies adopted for the research studies belonged to randomized control design (n=5), case-control exploratory design (n=1), and cohort designs (n=7) of specific populations. After reviewing the studies, researchers determined that intervention programs increased the likelihood that individuals would undergo BSE and enhanced the chance of undergoing screening for breast cancer.
More public health initiatives needed
This review provided a clear insight into breast cancer interventions and the key role they play in providing awareness, knowledge, and adoption of screening procedures for early diagnosis. This will, in turn, reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of breast cancer in women. Furthermore, various educational programs, campaigns, and training would be effective in controlling breast cancer mortality.
- Anastasi N, Lusher J. The impact of breast cancer awareness interventions on breast screening uptake among women in the United Kingdom: A systematic review. Journal of Health Psychology. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317697