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Original Article:

Awareness regarding female breast cancer in Kashmiri males - A study

Sajad Ahmad Salati, Ex-Senior Resident, Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
Ajaz Rather, Consultant, Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
Address For Correspondence
!r" Sajad Ahmad Salati,
Assistant Consultant,
Department of Surgical Specialties,
King Fahad Medical Cit, Riadh,
Saudi Ara!ia"
#-mail docsa#ad$ahoo"co"in
Citation Salati SA, Rather A" A%areness regarding female !reast cancer in Kashmiri males - A stud" Online J Health Allied Scs.
$R% http.00%%%"o#has"org0issue1&0&''(-,-//"htm
&pen Access Archi'es http.00cogprints"org02ie%0su!#ects0345AS"html and http.00openmed"nic"in02ie%0su!#ects0o#has"html
Su!mitted. Dec /, &''() Accepted. Apr /, &'/') 6u!lished. Apr 1', &'/'
7reast cancer is a ma#or 8iller disease in females glo!all and
in de2eloping regions, %here the earl cancer detection facilit-
ies are una2aila!le, prognosis is e2en %orse" A%areness a!out
this disease can lead to earl detection and there! decrease
the mor!idit and mortalit" A self designed 9uestionnaire %as
used to stud the le2el of a%areness regarding !reast cancer
among males" :he 9uestionnaire had /; 9uestions and on the
!asis on score attained, the su!#ects %ere classified as ha2ing
poor, a2erage or good !reast cancer a%areness" 3ut of <&,
participants, ;;;+*(=- had poor !reast cancer a%areness and
,>+>";=- had a2erage a%areness" 3nl && +1";=- had good
a%areness a!out !reast cancer" :he le2el of a%areness regard-
ing female !reast cancer in Kashmiri males is 2er lo%" Meas-
ures need to !e ta8en to spread a%areness a!out this disease in
males so that the can pla a 2ital role in earl detection of
this disease"
Key (ords 7reast cancer, males, cancer a%areness, teacher
7reast Cancer is glo!all one of the ma#or 8iller diseases in
" In economicall depri2ed regions of the %orld, lac8
of a%areness a!out !reast cancer and less a2aila!ilit of spe-
cific !reast clinics, results in dela in see8ing medical care and
hence in poorer prognosis
" In Kashmir 2alle, dedicated
!reast cancer screening clinics are not existent and hence
!reast cancer a%areness can !e a tool to fight this disease"
Spouse is the one person %ho is phsicall and emotionall
intimate to a %oman and can !ecome a great medium in earl
detection of !reast cancer in females !ut this is possi!le onl if
males are a%are a!out the features of female !reast cancer" In
literature, most of the studies ha2e concentrated in studing
the le2el of !reast cancer a%areness in females onl and 2irtu-
all no data is a2aila!le regarding female !reast cancer a%are-
ness in males" :his stud %as underta8en to stud the le2el of
a%areness regarding !reast cancer among Kashmiri males"
*aterials and *ethods
A stud %as conducted in the Department of ?eneral Surger,
Sheri-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, +Medical Col-
lege-, 7emina, Srinagar, Kashmir, India o2er a period of /*
months from Septem!er &''> to Fe!ruar &''(, to assess the
le2el of a%areness regarding !reast cancer in Kashmiri men"
<&, patients admitted in the department for management of
2arious common surgical diseases and their male 2isitors %ere
selected randoml and explained the purpose of the stud as
per the ethical guidelines of 5elsin8i" :he persons %ho agreed
to participate in the stud %ere re9uested to ans%er a self de-
signed 9uestionnaire after assuring them of confidentialit"
3nl married persons %ere included in the stud" :he exclu-
sion criteria included famil histor of !reast disorders and oc-
cupation +self or spouse- in healthcare, on the presumption
that their le2el of a%areness might !e higher than the general
population" :he 9uestionnaire included !asic signs and smp-
toms of !reast cancer as sho%n in :a!le /" :he 9uestionnaire
%as designed after ta8ing text !oo8s of general surger
:oronto !reast self examination in2entor
into consideration"
Attempt %as made to simplif the 9uestionnaire %ith the aim
of getting insight into le2el of 8no%ledge %ith minimum pos-
si!le consumption of time of the participants" :here %ere /;
features related to !reast cancer in the 9uestionnaire and
a%areness regarding each feature earned / point and no point
%as a%arded if the lad %as una%are" Accordingl three cat-
egories of !reast cancer a%areness %ere defined as per the
total scores as depicted in :a!le &"
+able , Self designed -uestionnaire to assess breast can-
cer awareness .Score / if unaware, , if aware0
Features0 Ris8 factors of 7reast Cancer
A 7reast lump or thic8ening that feels different from the sur-
rounding tissue
7lood discharge from the nipple
Change in the si@e or shape of a !reast
Changes to the s8in o2er the !reast, such as dimpling
In2ersion of nipple
6eeling or fla8ing of the nipple s8in
Redness or pitting of the s8in o2er our !reast, li8e the s8in of
an orange
A lump or thic8ening in the underarm area
7eing female
Increasing age
Famil histor of !reast cancer
7eginning menstrual period at a ounger age+less than /& rs-
5a2ing the first child at an older age+a!o2e 1; rs-
7eginning menopause at an older age +a!o2e ;' rs-
:his %or8 is licensed under a Creati2e
Commons Attri!ution-Ao Deri2ati2e Bor8s
&"; India Cicense
Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
6eer Re2ie%ed, 3pen Access, Free 3nline 4ournal
6u!lished Duarterl . Mangalore, South India . ISSA '(>&-;((>
Eolume *, Issue ,) 3ct - Dec &''(
+able 1 Categories as per the attained scores
Score Categories of a%areness le2el
'-; 6oor a%areness
<-/' A2erage a%areness
//-/; ?ood a%areness
Data %as processed and anal@ed after one ear of stud peri-
od %ith the aid of S6SS soft%are +statistical pac8age for social
sciences 2ersion- /'-"
During the stud period /&>( males %ere approached for par-
ticipation in the stud and out of these *;; su!#ects refused to
participate in the stud" As sho%n in Fig /, out of <&, parti-
cipants, onl && +1";=- had good a%areness a!out !reast can-
cer" :he results deri2ed after analsis of data are gi2en in the
follo%ing figures +Fig"/-&- and ta!les +:a!le 1- <-"
+able 2 Awareness as per the economic status
Awareness le'el
)ncome group. in )ndian Rupees0
34/// 4///-,//// 5,////
6oor a%areness &,1 /*( /&1
A2erage a%areness /' &> /;
?ood a%areness '& '< /1
+able 6 Awareness as per the educational bac7ground
Awareness le'el
#ducational bac7ground
8o education 9rimary le'el Secondary le'el :raduate and abo'e
6oor a%areness &,/ /&* /,> 1(
A2erage a%areness / 1 // 1&
?ood a%areness ' 1 > //
+able 4 Awareness as per the occupation
Awareness le'el 9rofessional bac7ground
Farmers; laborers !ri'ers;bus conductors <usiness men +eachers Students &ffice goers
6oor a%areness &/( /* /<& 1, &/ /'/
A2erage a%areness ; ' , // ( /*
?ood a%areness / ' > , 1 <
+able = Awareness as per the age group
Awareness le'el
Age groups. in years0
1/-2/ 2/- 6/ 6/ -4/ 4/-=/ 5 =/
6oor a%areness ,1 1&> /1( 1* *
A2erage a%areness ( /, && & '
?ood a%areness / < /, ' '
:he reasons for non participation gi2en ! *;; su!#ects %ho
refused to ans%er the 9uestionnaire are as sho%n in Fig 1"
7reast cancer is the commonest cause of cancer in females in
most of the states of India as per the recent statistics"
7ut the
facilities of !reast clinics for earl detection of !reast cancer
are not a2aila!le to a ma#or percentage of the population" :his
has !een found to result late reporting of patents to healthcare
facilit and ultimatel poorer prognosis" Similar is the scen-
ario in Kashmir 2alle"
In such circumstances, the onl 2ia!le
method to ma8e earl reporting of patients possi!le is !
spreading a%areness regarding this disease"
3n re2ie% of lit-
erature, %e found that 2irtuall all the studies are directed at
detection of the le2el or %as and means to impro2e !reast
cancer a%areness among females and %e could not find an
stud %here a%areness of this disease in males has !een stud-
ied" It %as against this !ac8ground, this stud %as underta8en
to assess the female !reast cancer a%areness among male pop-
From our stud, %e found that onl //= of males had a2erage
to good a%areness and *(= had poor a%areness a!out this
disease" :hese figures are %orrisome 8eeping in 2ie% the fact
that li8e other parts of Indian su!continent, spouse is the
closest relation phsicall and emotionall" Since spouse has
the pri2ilege to feel the !od of his partner, a%areness a!out
the a!normalities could result in earl pic8up of pathological
lesions" 7esides since in our societ, hus!and plas a ma#or
role in !ringing the patient to the healthcare facilit and since
!reast cancer of a lad, affects the male partner emotionall
and financiall, it !ecomes all the more important to include
males in a%areness programmes regarding this disease"
From our data %e could not detect an statisticall significant
difference among the su!#ects %hen classified on the !asis of
economic status depicting there! that impro2ement in eco-
nomic status does not reflect in impro2ed health related a%are-
ness" Bhen studied on the !asis of le2el of formal education,
graduates and a!o2e %ere !etter a%are than less or uneducated
group" Similarl teachers, office goers and students %ere !et-
ter a%are though the difference %as not significant" 7esides
most of these relati2el !etter a%are groups also !elonged to
graduate and a!o2e educational group" 7ut the fact that a!out
<*"1(= of teachers had poor a%areness a!out !reast cancer
needs a serious attention and impro2ement as it has !een
pro2ed in man studies that ! impro2ing the health-related
a%areness among the teachers, the le2el of a%areness in chil-
dren impro2es significantl
%ho in turn ha2e !een found to
disseminate health a%areness in homes and general popula-
tion" 7ut it needs to !e mentioned that the literature sho%s that
e2en in economicall de2eloped regions of the %orld, health
education has not !een made a constant part of certification
programmes of teachers"

As far as the sources of information are concerned, health re-
lated programmes on local radio, tele2ision and articles in loc-
al ne%spapers %ere sources of information of >*">= of su!-
#ects ha2ing a2erage and good a%areness regarding !reast can-
cer" Since these sources are %idel a2aila!le, impetus needs to
!e laid on focused utili@ation of these means of education to
impro2e !reast cancer a%areness among masses" Special
teachers training sessions need to !e organi@ed particularl
during 2acations %hen schools remain closed as these in-ser-
2ice training sessions ha2e !een found effecti2e in other health
related issues"
7 esta!lishing a definite role for schools and
teachers in promotion of health, positi2e results ha2e !een
achie2ed as is e2ident from literature"

From our results %e found that <<"*;= of the su!#ects %ho
had !een approached for participation in this stud refused to
do so and the reasons gi2en as sho%n in Fig 1, sho% lac8 of
interest among our population regarding matters related to
health" :his aspect needs to !e addressed seriousl as until
people ta8e interest healthcare programmes cannot meet suc-
cess" :he social and religious leaders can !e approached, edu-
cated and made part of a programme aimed at health education
as the ha2e direct access to the population and command re-
spect and can influence their practices"

7reast cancer a%areness is 2er lo% among Kashmiri men "In
the a!sence of !reast cancer screening clinics, there is a dire
need to ta8e measures to impro2e !reast cancer a%areness in
men so that the can pla a role in earl detection of this
disease and there! impro2e the outcome in this disease"
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