Harmeet Kaur and Bandana Bisht
Breast cancer, Cervical Cancer, Early stage, Knowledge empowerment, working women.
According to GLOBOCAN 2012 data released in December 2013 there are more than 10 lakh cancer cases per annum in India. The Incidence of breast cancer is growingin younger and elder women population worldwide. In India, the incidence of breast cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. The cervix cancer incidence is also very high in India especially in rural Indian women. The earlier studies have shown that raising the awareness regarding these two cancers can go long way as these are the progressive cancers and if women are made aware to get the diagnostic tests done regularly then there is more probability of getting the small tumors diagnosed early, which can be treated effectively and cure rate can be better. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate the impact of awareness program on breast and cervical cancer knowledge empowerment among working women in education sector. Quasi experimental pretestpost test design was used on the sample of 110 working women which were selected by simple random sampling technique. A self reported questionnaire on knowledge assessment regarding breast and cervical cancer was prepared and validated. The questionnaire was administered to the respondents to measure their baseline pre test knowledge regarding breast and cervical cancer. After the pre test, information on breast and cervical cancer was sent to all the respondents through e-mail which included the information on risk factors, sign and symptoms, diagnostic tests, early detection and risk prevention aspects. After three days, post test was conducted to measure the impact of information on knowledge empowerment of respondents. Data was analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS 16.0 version. The study finding revealed that baseline knowledge of working women regarding breast and cervical cancer was inadequate. The knowledge of respondents improved significantly after sensitizing them through the information on breast and cervical cancer.The present study revealed that knowledge of breast and cervical cancer is astonishingly inadequate among educated and working women, which gives an insight to healthcare personnel to sensitize the women to take measures such as self breast examination, getting mammography and Pap smear tests done to detect these two deadly cancers at early stages. Therefore, there is need for organizing awareness programs at national, community and individual levels so that women can become aware regarding preventive aspects and early diagnostic techniques so that these cancers can be curbed before occurrence and at an early stage.