2 - International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health-Qatar Proceedings
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


Breast cancer is the most common malignancy and leading cause of cancer mortality among females in Gaza. Most cases are diagnosed at late stage. Survival rates are persistently low in contrast to improved rates worldwide. Our study examined awareness, knowledge, attitude, practice and access to breast healthcare among both health professionals and women in Gaza.

In May and June 2014, using convenience and representative sampling, 100 health professionals from medical, surgical and obstetrics-gynecology completed a survey on basic knowledge of breast cancer, attitudes and practices. Structured interviews were conducted with 100 women 30 years and older across all districts and socioeconomic backgrounds. Women were interviewed about basic knowledge of breast cancer, self-exam, attitude and practice when a breast problem encountered, access, and barriers. Data was analyzed using excel to find frequency distributions.

The health professional surveys showed: Only 15% offer breast exam to their patients, 13% believe mammography can cause cancer, 48% do not know that radiotherapy is not available in Gaza, 4% believe cancer breast is contagious. Health professionals expressed the need for standardized protocols and guidelines. Only 25% of surveyed women reported practice of self-examination, 87% had never had a mammogram or had been offered a breast exam, 26% think mammogram can cause cancer. However 80% were positive about seeking healthcare when needed. Most women accepted screening if affordable and were interested in receiving information about breast care.

Knowledge gaps in breast healthcare exist among healthcare professionals and women in Gaza strip. Awareness sessions, capacity building and specialized training of healthcare professionals are needed to improve quality of breast healthcare in Gaza. Increasing utility of mammography among women with access to multidisciplinary breast care may improve survival rate, particularly because most women in Gaza are keen on seeking medical care when needed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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