197553 Breast cancer knowledge, misconceptions, and screening practices among Suffolk County, N.Y. Health Center patients

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sheila Carmen Jean-Charles , Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
Melody S. Goodman, PhD , Graduate Program in Public Health/ Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University - School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY

Breast cancer is the 6th leading cause of death for women in the United States. In Suffolk County, New York the average 1999-2003 age adjusted female breast cancer mortality rate was 30.4 per 100,000.


99 women aged 30+, were surveyed in six Suffolk County Department of Health Services Health Centers. 29.21% were Black, 47.19% were Caucasian, and 23.60% were Hispanic. 7.45% had less than a high school (HS) education, 68.09% had a HS education, 18.09% had a bachelor's degree, and 6.38% had greater than a bachelor's degree. 37.11% were uninsured. The purpose of the survey was to assess breast cancer knowledge, misconceptions, and screening practices among female health center patients. STATA statistical software was used for data analysis.


51.25% of women were not concerned about breast cancer screening (Breast Self Exams, Clinical Breast Exams, and mammograms). 39.08% of the women surveyed do not believe that breast cancer screening prevents deaths associated with breast cancer; 56% of the Black women surveyed do not believe breast cancer screening to be effective towards preventing death. A majority of black women did not think older age or never having children were risk factors for breast cancer; 76.92% and 92.31%, respectively. Socioeconomic factors such as education and income don't affect women's knowledge about breast cancer. However, women with health insurance were more likely to get the breast cancer symptoms/misconception questions correct.


The results of the survey show improvements can be made in educating women about breast health in Suffolk County.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate breast cancer knowledge of female Health Center patients. 2. Describe common misconceptions about breast cancer among female Health Center patients. 3. Assess breast cancer screening practices among female Health Center Patients.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was apart of Stony Brook's BioPrep research program in the summer of 2008. I also presented a research project at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students at Orlando, FL in November of 2008.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.