INTRODUCTION: morbidity. Though debates have been going on


 Breast cancer
affects approximately 1 in 3000 pregnant women and is the second most common
malignancy affecting pregnancy 1. Presently
75,000 new cases occur in India every year. The first noticeable symptom of
breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the rest of the
breast tissue 2.

Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer PABC is defined
as breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or in the first postpartum year.
 It is one the most common tumour of reproductive age group. Previous
studies have suggested that approximately 10% of breast cancers diagnosed in
patient’s aged ?40 years were diagnosed during the pregnancy. It is a dangerous
myth that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot get breast cancer. So,
it is still vitally important to check the breast even during pregnancy. More
than 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump 3.
Lack of awareness, no clinical breast examination or mammography, no access to
proper healthcare are risk factors for developing breast lesions.

Breast Self Examinations BSE or regularly examining
your breasts on your own, can be an important step for early detection of
breast lesions and making them more likely to be treated successfully and it
has been positively linked to a decrease in mortality and morbidity. Though
debates have been going on about how valuable Breast Self Examination is in
detecting breast lesions, the procedure can be very beneficial to women of the
rural population who lack the means to proper healthcare or general
mammography. Multiple socio-demographic factors, myths, cultural beliefs, lack of
accessibility to the health care services have been identified as the reasons
for the poor uptake of BSE 4. BSEs have been seen to be very useful and essential
screening strategy, especially in combination with regular physical examination
by a doctor and mammography.



1.      To
assess the awareness and practice of Breast Self Examination among pregnant women
residing in an urban and rural areas of Bangalore.


To determine the socio demographic factors affecting
the awareness and practice towards Breast Self Examinations in pregnant women.








1.      Pregnant
women attending the OBG OPDs at M.S Ramaiah hospitals

Rural Field practice area of Ramaiah Medical College.




1.All pregnant women attending the
OBG OPDs at Ramaiah hospitals and the rural centres attached to the Community Medicine
department of Ramaiah Medical College who give consent to participate.



Pregnant women who have already been diagnosed with
breast cancer.



STUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional study

SAMPLE SIZE-   97 in each
group (194)


Based on the literature review, in a previous study
conducted by Anantha Lakshmi Satyavathi Devi Kommula, Surendranath Borra and
Vani Madhavi Kommula; it was found that 16.5% of the women were aware of BSE 5.
In the present study expecting a difference of 20% in the knowledge level
regarding Breast Self Examination between rural and urban pregnant women;
considering power of 80% and confidence level of 95%, the sample size worked
out to be minimum of 97 pregnant women in each group.


Qualitative variables like socio-demographic
characteristics of the participants and practice regarding BSE will be presented
using frequency and percentages. Quantitative variables like awareness scores
will be analysed and presented using descriptive statistics like mean and SD.
The knowledge scores of urban and rural women will be computed and tested for
statistical significance difference using Mann Whitney U test. Chi Square test
will be used to find the association between knowledge level and select socio
demographic factors. SPSS version 17 will be used for statistical analysis.



STUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional



The study subjects will be recruited from the OBG OPDs
at Ramaiah hospitals and its attached rural centres. The study questionnaire is
translated into the local language and the subject is requested to fill it. If
the subject is not literate, the investigator will ask the questions orally and
fill the questionnaire for the subject. Subjects are requested to assemble
individually or in groups at a convenient common point where health education
about Breast Self Examination BSE, its advantages will be explained by the
investigator through pictorial references. This will be followed by an
interactive session where their doubts on BSE will be clarified. If they are
already aware of BSE, a demonstration is asked of the subject, where they are
corrected if needed, while those unaware are taught the complete process. The
sessions are expected to last for a period of approximately 15-20 minutes.



Literature review suggests that pregnant women in whom
diagnosis was delayed or treatment deferred have a lower survival
rate. BSE involves visualization and palpation of the breast by oneself
for lumps, shape, texture, size and contour. The purpose of this is for a woman
to learn the topography of her breasts, know how her normal breasts feel and be
able to identify changes in them should they occur in the future 6. It is
cost effective and more readily available than any other method of early
detection of breast cancer in our environment. This study emphasizes on the
importance of creating awareness and accurate knowledge about Breast Self
Examination to pregnant women and thus help in early detection of breast
lesions 7.


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