Introduction: Similar to many countries in the world, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the State of Qatar and the incidence rate is rising. Previous findings indicate women in Qatar are often diagnosed with breast cancer at advanced stages and their awareness of breast cancer screening (BCS) services and participation rates in screening activities are low. Previous studies indicate the need to understand the many complex beliefs, values, and attitudes that influence Arabic women's health seeking behavior for the development of culturally-appropriate awareness and effective intervention strategies to address breast cancer in Qatar. This study investigates beliefs and attitudes about breast cancer and BCS activities in Qatar and how it relates to their screening practices. Methods: A multi-center, cross-sectional quantitative survey of 1,063 (87.5% response rate) female Qatari citizens and Qatari Arabic-speaking residents, 35 years of age or older, was conducted in Qatar from March 2011 to July 2011. Results: In addition to low levels of awareness and participation rates in BCS (13.9% of participants reported performing a monthly BSE, 31.3% had a CBE within the last 1-2 years, and 26.9% of participants 40 years of age or older had a mammogram done within the last 1-2 years), less than half of the women interviewed believed breast cancer can be prevented. The majority of women participants want to know if they have breast cancer and would make an appointment for a mammogram if their HCP suggested it. The main reasons for not planning BCS were fear and embarrassment. Other factors related to BCS practice indicate women with self-perceived good and excellent health, who believe cancer can be prevented, and do not believe cancer is due to God's punishment or bad luck, were more likely to practice BCS. Conclusion: A variety of channels (health care providers, media, breast cancer survivors, and religious leaders) should be utilized to create culturally-appropriate intervention programs to raise awareness of breast cancer, BCS, and the benefits of early detection of breast cancer to help reduce mortality rates amongst Arabic-speaking women living in the State of Qatar. Awareness campaigns must emphasize that cancer can be prevented and treated if detected in its early stages. In addition, including religiously and culturally appropriate messages/teachings as part of awareness campaigns is important components to sustaining intervention strategies that address breast cancer amongst Arabic-speaking Muslim women.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error