INTRODUCTION: cannot get breast cancer. So, it

 INTRODUCTION: Breast canceraffects approximately 1 in 3000 pregnant women and is the second most commonmalignancy affecting pregnancy 1. Presently75,000 new cases occur in India every year.

The first noticeable symptom ofbreast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the rest of thebreast tissue 2 .Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer PABC is definedas breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or in the first postpartum year. It is one the most common tumour of reproductive age group. Previousstudies have suggested that approximately 10% of breast cancers diagnosed inpatient’s aged ?40 years were diagnosed during the pregnancy.

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It is a dangerousmyth that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot get breast cancer. So,it is still vitally important to check the breast even during pregnancy. Morethan 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump 3. Lack of awareness, no clinical breast examination or mammography, no accessto proper healthcare are risk factors for developing breast lesions. Breast Self Examinations BSE or regularly examiningyour breasts on your own, can be an important step for early detection ofbreast lesions and making them more likely to be treated successfully and ithas been positively linked to a decrease in mortality and morbidity. Thoughdebates have been going on about how valuable Breast Self Examination is indetecting breast lesions, the procedure can be very beneficial to women of therural population who lack the means to proper healthcare or generalmammography. Multiple socio-demographic factors, myths, cultural beliefs, lack ofaccessibility to the health care services have been identified as the reasonsfor the poor uptake of BSE 4.BSEs have been seen to be very usefuland essential screening strategy, especially in combination with regularphysical examination by a doctor and mammography.

 OBJECTIVESOF THE STUDY:1.      Toassess the awareness and practice of Breast Self Examination among pregnant womenresiding in an urban and rural areas of Bangalore. 2.     To determine the socio demographic factors affectingthe awareness and practice towards Breast Self Examinations in pregnant women.

     METHODOLOGY:STUDY AREA:1.      Pregnantwomen attending the OBG OPDs at M.S Ramaiah hospitals2.     Rural Field practice area of Ramaiah Medical College.  INCLUSIONCRITERIA:1.All pregnant women attending theOBG OPDs at Ramaiah hospitals and the rural centres attached to the Community Medicinedepartment of Ramaiah Medical College who give consent to participate.

 EXCLUSION CRITERIA:1.     Pregnant women who have already been diagnosed withbreast cancer. STUDY DURATION: 2 monthsSTUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional studySAMPLE SIZE-   97 in eachgroup (194)RATIONALE FORSAMPLE SIZE:Based on the literature review, in a previous studyconducted by Anantha Lakshmi Satyavathi Devi Kommula, Surendranath Borra andVani 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 levelregarding Breast Self Examination between rural and urban pregnant women;considering power of 80% and confidence level of 95%, the sample size workedout to be minimum of 97 pregnant women in each group. STATISTICALANALYSIS:Qualitative variables like socio-demographiccharacteristics of the participants and practice regarding BSE will be presentedusing frequency and percentages. Quantitative variables like awareness scoreswill be analysed and presented using descriptive statistics like mean and SD.The knowledge scores of urban and rural women will be computed and tested forstatistical significance difference using Mann Whitney U test.

Chi Square testwill be used to find the association between knowledge level and select sociodemographic factors. SPSS version 17 will be used for statistical analysis. STUDY DURATION: 2 monthsSTUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional PROCEDURE:The study subjects will be recruited from the OBG OPDsat Ramaiah hospitals and its attached rural centres. The study questionnaire istranslated into the local language and the subject is requested to fill it. Ifthe subject is not literate, the investigator will ask the questions orally andfill the questionnaire for the subject. Subjects are requested to assembleindividually or in groups at a convenient common point where health educationabout Breast Self Examination BSE, its advantages will be explained by theinvestigator through pictorial references.

This will be followed by aninteractive session where their doubts on BSE will be clarified. If they arealready aware of BSE, a demonstration is asked of the subject, where they arecorrected if needed, while those unaware are taught the complete process. Thesessions are expected to last for a period of approximately 15-20 minutes.  IMPLICATIONOF THE STUDY:Literature review suggests that pregnant women in whomdiagnosis was delayed or treatment deferred have a lower survivalrate. BSE involves visualization and palpation of the breast by oneselffor lumps, shape, texture, size and contour. The purpose of this is for a womanto learn the topography of her breasts, know how her normal breasts feel and beable to identify changes in them should they occur in the future 6. It iscost effective and more readily available than any other method of earlydetection of breast cancer in our environment.

This study emphasizes on theimportance of creating awareness and accurate knowledge about Breast SelfExamination to pregnant women and thus help in early detection of breastlesions 


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