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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Mammography ensures early diagnosis and a better chance for treatment and recovery from breast cancer. We conducted a national survey to investigate knowledge and practices of breast cancer screening among Saudi women aged 50 years or older in order to inform the breast cancer national health programs.

The Saudi Health Interview Survey is a national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older. The survey included questions on socio-demographic characteristics, tobacco consumption, diet, physical activity, health-care utilization, different health-related behaviors, and self-reported chronic conditions. Female respondents were asked about knowledge and practices of self and clinical breast exams, as well as mammography. Between April and Junea total Women seeking women Buraydah ads 10, participants completed the survey.

Among respondents, 1, were women aged 50 years or older and were included in this analysis. Women living in Al Sharqia had the highest rate of mammography use. Women who were educated, those who had received a routine medical exam within the last two years, and those who were diagnosed with hypertension were more likely to have had a mammogram in the past two years. Our show very low rates of breast cancer screening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country with free health services. This calls for educational campaigns to improve breast cancer screening.

Addressing the barriers for breast cancer screening is a public health imperative. Mammography ensures early diagnosis and a better chance for treatment and recovery. Other types of screening are believed to be effective in detecting breast cancer, such as breast self-examination and clinical breast examination, but these are not recommended in updated guidelines for breast cancer screening.

In KSA, studies related to knowledge, attitudes, and practices around breast cancer are scarce. Milaat, infound a very low level of knowledge of breast cancer and its associated risk factors among female high-school students. However, Whether Saudi women know about breast cancer screening and whether those above the age of 50 years are being screened for breast cancer at least once every two years is unknown. All respondents consented and agreed Women seeking women Buraydah ads participate in the study.

We used verbal consent that was captured by our computer program since it is commonly used and accepted in KSA. Two verbal consents were obtained: one for the household roster obtained from the head of the household or the most knowledgeable person in the house and another obtained from the randomly selected respondent. If the randomly selected respondent was between the ages of 15—17 years old, then the parent s or legal guardian of that individual consented on their behalf to participate in the study.

Households of Saudi citizens were randomly selected from a national sampling frame maintained and updated by the Census Bureau. All regions were included, and a probability proportional to size was used to randomly select sub-regions and blocks. Households were randomly selected from each block. A roster of household members was collected, and an adult aged 15 or older was randomly selected to be surveyed. The survey included questions on socio-demographic characteristics, tobacco consumption, diet, physical activity, health-care utilization, different health-related behaviors, and self-reported diagnosed chronic conditions.

These conditions included hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. Respondents were asked in which year they last visited a doctor or other health professional for a routine checkup.

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A mammography is a screening test for breast tumors and cancers using a special type of x-ray. We examined knowledge and practices of breast self-exam over the last 12 months, clinical breast exam over the last 12 months, and time since last mammogram. We recognize that breast self-examination is not considered as an effective mean in the updated guidelines for breast cancer screening. However, since it is still being practiced in Saudi, we used it as a proxy to assess whether women are aware of the risk of breast cancer.

We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to measure association between having received a mammogram for women aged 50 or older within the last two years with age, marital status, education, self-rated health, time since the last routine physical exam, and history of diagnoses with hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. Data were weighted to for the probability of selection, and age and sex post-stratification based on census data for age and sex distribution of the Saudi population.

We used probability proportional to size to select region and primary sampling units. Houses were randomly selected from each primary sampling unit. We applied a post stratification factor to for non-response and to reflect the general KSA population. We created a final weight by using the inverse of the probability of selection multiplied by the post-stratification factor. We used SAS 9. Among respondents, 1, were women aged Women seeking women Buraydah ads years old and were included in this analysis.

Women who were educated, those who have received a routine medical exam within the last two years, and those who were diagnosed with hypertension were more likely to have had a mammogram in the past two years Table 2. Women who had a clinical breast exam and women who breastfed their last child for more than 12 months were more likely to have a mammogram Table 3. Women living in the Al Sharqia region were the most likely to have had a mammogram within the last two years compared to women from all other Saudi regions Fig.

Patterns of receiving a mammogram during the last two years mimicked those of reception of a routine medical exam among women aged 50—74 years old, and among the general population, by region Fig. Our study is the first to provide national estimates of breast cancer screening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Our show a very low rate of breast screening in a country where health services are provided free of charge to the population. These findings are of great importance and call for immediate action to increase the rate of breast cancer screening in the Kingdom. It is crucial to identify barriers to seeking medical services and breast cancer screening in order to improve health outcomes. Our data showed great geographic variations in breast cancer screening, ranging from 0. Hence, access to a local health clinic for preventive care does not seem Women seeking women Buraydah ads be a factor. In addition, local health clinics have the ability to refer and transport patients in need of care to regional hospitals at no charge.

All services provided at those clinics are free, and medications are dispensed free of charge.

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KSA does not have a shortage of healthcare settings or providers. Due to increased oil revenues, a modern healthcare system was developed in KSA starting in Inthe country had 74 hospitals with 9, beds. Bythe of hospitals reachedwith nearly 48, beds, equaling about 1 bed per residents, one of the lowest ratios in the world. Mammography was introduced to KSA prior to Our data showed that the highest rates of mammograms are in Al Sharqia, which indicates that the length of time mammography services have been available is not a driver of outcome.

Indeed, if this were a factor, the highest rates would be in the capital city of Riyadh, where the earliest centers were established. Despite their availability, mammography screening programs in KSA are opportunistic. Evidence shows that organized screening programs, ones with systematic call, recall, follow-up, and surveillance [ 18 ], not only utilize fewer resources, but are also more sensitive.

Organized cancer screening programs have been shown to reduce cancer mortality, be more cost-effective, and have less harmful effects than opportunistic programs [ 19 ]. Therefore, transforming the current breast cancer screening programs in KSA into organized programs will reduce increase screening and reduce the burden of breast cancer. Our findings should be viewed in the context of the KSA culture. Women are not allowed to drive and hence Women seeking women Buraydah ads be at a disadvantage to seek medical care. However, our findings rule out this possibility.

Indeed, in some geographic areas women were more likely to seek routine medical exams than the general population.

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Women in KSA are very conservative. They are more likely to shy away from preventive medical exams if these involve breast examination. However, all clinics in KSA have a female section that is operated by female nurses and physicians. Indeed, a study by Amin et al. It is possible that women think that female healthcare providers are lacking at health facilities, and hence, shy away from seeking a mammography. It is puzzling that women are not seeking such an effective and free medical service. Further qualitative studies are needed to understand the barriers to this life-saving exam, especially considering that most breast cancer patients in the Arab World have a more advanced stage of disease at first presentation, and their tumor size is larger, compared to European and American patients[ 20 ].

Our study has some limitations. First, all our variables are self-reported and may be Women seeking women Buraydah ads to recall bias. Second, our sample for females 50 or older is very small to examine geographic variation in full detail. However, our study is based on a national sample and covered all regions of KSA. Moreover, we conducted our surveys using standardized methods and techniques to ensure high-quality data. Our showed the same patterns of screening in KSA as we see elsewhere. In the United States, women who are more educated are more likely to have a mammogram.

However, we hope that the time it takes the Kingdom to reach such high levels is not prolonged. It is possible that women in Saudi Arabia do not perceive breast cancer as a health danger. We have shown in a study that KSA has made tremendous improvement in health in the past 20 years[ 124 ]. It is very possible that health efforts in KSA have focused on infectious diseases and maternal and child health in the past years.

Indeed, non-communicable diseases are now becoming the focus of the Ministry of Health, which recently developed and ed the Riyadh Declaration to increase the focus on non-communicable diseases. Empowering women is very crucial and a necessary part of improving their health. Unfortunately, most information on breast screening comes from screening campaigns. Although these campaigns and breast cancer awareness activities are currently widespread in KSA, knowledge about the disease is still very low among women.

Moreover, information about breast cancer screening in the media is still scarce and not reaching all members of the community[ 26 ].

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Indeed, the MOH and other health players in KSA have to consider more aggressive means to inform women about the importance of mammography. These means should include media, activists, and religious leaders among others. The advances in technology and messaging should be used to reach women everywhere. Moreover, perhaps it is time for a woman to champion this cause and be the spoke person to inform others to make the right health decisions.

KSA is in dire need of female role models to improve the health of its female population.

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