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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


LIMA, Ana Lívia Pontes de et al. Opportunistic screening for breast cancer among young women in Maranhão State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.7, pp.1433-1439. ISSN 1678-4464.

Although breast cancer is infrequent in women under 40 years of age, it deserves attention, since diagnosis requires a high rate of clinical suspicion. Thus, preventive practices should be emphasized in childbearing-age women, with opportunistic screening as a relevant strategy. This study focused on breast cancer prevention practices adopted by young women in Maranhão State, Brazil. This was a population-based descriptive study conducted from June 2007 to January 2008. The majority of the women had low income (42.1%) and fewer than eight years of schooling (62.6%). Some 30% reported breast self-examination. Among women older than 35, 71.6% had never had a mammogram. The most common preventive measure was clinical examination (35.2%), which had increased by 11.5% in the previous ten years. Such information on opportunistic breast cancer screening in Maranhão should help produce specific public health policies for the State.

Keywords : Early Detection of Cancer; Breast Neoplasms; Secondary Prevention.

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