Factors that Influence the uptake of Breast Cancer Screening among Women of Reproductive Age in Mosocho Division, Kisii Central District, Kenya.
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Every year breast cancer kills approximately 40,000 women globally (American Cancer society, 2006). Globally, breast cancer incidence is on the rise, especially in developing countries and from 2000-2006, breast cancer was the most diagnosed cancer among women in Kenya and 80% - 90% of those women presented with stage 3 and 4 of the disease. In order to more effectively promote breast preventive medical care programs, it is important to identify the key determinants of women’s behavior regarding their decisions to engage in screening. The aim of this study was to identify the factors that influence the uptake of breast examination and screening for cancer among women in the division. The Health belief model formed the basis for this study and Cross -sectional survey research design was used in the study. Data was collected using interviewer administered questionnaires, a key informant interview and a focus group discussion. The study targeted women of reproductive age (15 – 49 years) randomly sampled from 245 households within Mosocho division. The households from the 5 locations were systematically sampled and the data obtained analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics included frequency charts and tables while inferential statistics included the use of Pearson’s chi-square () and Correlation analysis. The statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to compute the statistics. Fifty five point nine percent of the respondents had never undertaken any form of breast screening in the last two years. The breast screening uptake was lowest among women aged 30 – 39 years (17.2%) and among women with middle college level of education (6.0%). This research found significant associations between SECDs, psychosocial factors, institutional factors and women’s level of knowledge about breast cancer with breast screening uptake. Women with lower socioeconomic status were found to be less likely to undertake screening services. Institutional characteristics such as breast health education and guidance by nurses were found to be significant and positively associated with screening uptake among the women. The study findings will help the ministries of health and education to formulate policies that are directed at promotion of early breast health seeking behavior among the women and generate information on the role of MCH clinics in creating awareness of breast 12 screening to reduce the incidence of late breast cancer. This analysis also provides evidence about the extent of utilization of breast cancer preventive care among women in a developing country and gives guidance on promoting early breast cancer screening among women.