Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital Affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

3 Department of Public Health, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

4 Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University, El Paso, Texas

Abstract

Background: Screening mammography is an established intervention that leads to early breast cancer detection and reduced mortality. The Lebanese Ministry of Health has initiated yearly awareness campaigns and provided free mammography in multiple centers around the country.Methods: The study took place in two major areas of Lebanon - Beirut and South Lebanon. This cross-sectional survey aimed to assess knowledge about breast cancer screening and screening behaviors in the Lebanese population. The primary outcome of the study was to assess the reasons that prevented women from performing screening mammography based on our categories of questions: lack of knowledge about breast cancer, lack of access to screening facilities, failure of primary care physician to encourage screening behavior, and other reasons.Results: The major barriers to seek screening that had statistically significant P-values, in order of prevalence, included: lack of knowledge about breast cancer, followed by social reasons and lack of access.Conclusion: Given the prevalence of breast cancer in our population, it is important to understand the pitfalls that we experience in promoting awareness. Our study is the first study to reach out to the community to assess perceived barriers against screening and provide solutions for such barriers.