Understanding Breast Health Awareness in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A systematic review of the literature

Norah Abdullah Madkhali, Olinda Santin, Helen Noble, Joanne Reid

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction Breast cancer is a critical health concern in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). A major fac-tor influencing Saudi breast cancer (BC) incidence is the large proportion of younger women presenting with BC many of whom present at an advanced stage. The purpose of this study is to conduct a literature review in order to explore the nature and extent of health care providers' (HCPs) and women’s experiences and perspectives of breast health awareness in KSA.Method Electronic data databases: MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL and the Web of Science were searched from inception to September 2015. A systematic search using breast cancer or breast health headings and index terms was conducted. Data were analysed using thematic framework analysis. ResultsThe findings demonstrate there is a limited evidence base of women’s and HCPs' experiences and perspectives of breast health awareness in KSA. Main themes included women’s and HCPs' experiences with breast health awareness and BC early detection methods in KSA. Sub-themes included lack of knowledge, attitudes to breast cancer screening (BCS) and barriers to performing BCS. The main findings suggest Saudi women with breast cancer have a poor prognosis and survival rate. This situation is attributed to the absence of national BC education and screening programs in addition to poor breast health awareness and cultural barriers in KSA.ConclusionConsideration of Saudi women’s and health care provider's experiences of breast health aware-ness is essential. This will help to inform policy to word suitable and applicable screening and education breast programs for entire Saudi women and to alleviate physical and psychological pain resulting from predominant late breast cancer diagnosis. References: Al Diab A., Qureshi S., Al Saleh K.A., Al Qahtani F.H., Aleem A., Alghamdi M.A., Alsaif A., Bokhari A.A., Qureshi V.F. & Rehan Qureshi M. (2013) Review on Breast Cancer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 14(4), 532-543.Elkum, N., Dermime, S., Ajarim, D., Al-Zahrani, A., Alsayed, A., Tulbah, A., Al Malik, O., Alshabanah, M., Ezzat, A. & Al-Tweigeri, T. (2007) Being 40 or younger is an independent risk factor for relapse in operable breast cancer patients: the Saudi Arabia experience. BMC cancer 7, 222. Available online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2222639/pdf/1471-2407-7-222.pdfIbrahim E., Zeeneldin A., Sadiq B., Ezzat A., Ibrahim E.M., Zeeneldin A.A., Sadiq B.B. & Ezzat A.A. (2008) The present and the future of breast cancer burden in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Medical Oncology 25(4), 387-393.Najjar H. & Easson A. (2010) Age at diagnosis of breast cancer in Arab nations. International journal of surgery 8(6), 448-452.Radi S.M. (2013) Breast Cancer awareness among Saudi females in Jeddah. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 14(7), 4307-4312.Saudi Arabia Cancer Incidence and Survival Report 2007. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Cancer Registry. Available online: http://www.chs.gov.sa/Ar/HealthRecords/CancerRegistry/CancerRegistryReports/Incidence%20Report%202007.pdfYakout S.M., El-shatbyMoursy A.M., Moawad S. & Salem O. (2014) Awareness, Knowledge and Practice of Breast self-examination among groups of Female nursing students, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. International Research Journal of Biological Sciences 3(2), 58-63.Yousuf S.A. (2010) Breast cancer awareness among Saudi nursing students. Medicine Science 17(3), 67-78.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2016


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