Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
SANTOS, Glenda Dias dos and CHUBACI, Rosa Yuka Sato. Awareness about breast cancer and mammography in elderly women who frequent Daycare Centers in São Paulo (SP, Brazil). Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.5, pp.2533-2540. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000500023.
Early detection at the initial stage of breast cancer through mammography is the best way of reducing morbidity and mortality rates. The scope of this study was to establish awareness about breast cancer and mammography among elderly women, if they take the exam and discover the reasons that lead them to take the exam or not. A cross-sectional and exploratory study was conducted with 98 elderly women in three Senior Citizen Daycare Centers in São Paulo. With respect to awareness of mammography as the exam used for early detection of breast cancer, 55% of the women answered that they knew. The majority of these women (77.6%) had taken the exam and 22.4% had never done so. The reasons most frequently cited for taking a mammography were concern with health (53.8%) and medical recommendation (38.5%). The reasons for not taking the exam were not having a medical recommendation (50%), conviction that they will never have the illness (23.1%), didn't feel symptoms (19.2%) and fear (7.7%). This study showed that the subject of "breast cancer" is well known by the women, however mammography needs to be explained better. The fact that there are elderly women who have never submitted to the exam reveals the ongoing need to stage educational campaigns about breast cancer and the early detection exams.
Keywords : Beast cancer; Elderly women; Early detection; Mammography.