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Educational material for social marketing and behaviours linked to early detection of breast cancer

09 March 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 5



Social marketing is an effective tool to ensure a populationbased behaviour change for a healthy lifestyle.


The aim was to investigate the effects of breast cancer-related printed educational materials on women's behaviours related to early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer within the framework of social marketing.


This pre-post test one-group study was conducted with 80 women in a family health centre. An interview form, printed educational materials and follow-up form were used to collect the study data. The data were collected at the baseline and through phone calls at the third month.


Of the women, 36% had never performed breast self-examination (BSE), 55% had never had clinical breast examination (CBE), and 41% had never had mammography. There were no differences between the measurements made at the baseline and at the third month in terms of performing BSE, and having CBE and mammography.


The importance of expanding social marketing approaches in terms of global health investments is emphasised. Adoption of positive health behaviours will lead to improvements in health status, as assessed through measures of morbidity and mortality status in cancer.

According to the GLOBOCAN 2018 statistics, breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, ranks fifth among the causes of deaths. According to the same statistics, while the incidence of age-related breast cancer is 23.7 per hundred thousand, the mortality rate is 6.6% (Bray et al, 2018). In Türkiye, as in other middle-income countries, breast cancer incidence is 43 per hundred thousand, and each year, 15 000 women are diagnosed with cancer (Bray et al, 2018).

Although there is, as yet, no early screening method to prevent breast cancer, early diagnosis affects the process and success of breast cancer treatment (Smith et al, 2019). Mammography considered as the gold standard, is the most recommended screening programme (Smith et al, 2019; Schünemann et al, 2020). Having a clinical breast examination (CBE) once a year is another recommended early detection practice (Saslow et al, 2004). Although it is not recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) as a screening method, breast self-examination (BSE) is recommended to increase women's awareness of breast cancer risk. The Ministry of Health in Türkiye recommends that BSE should be performed once a month after 20 years of age. In national cancer screening programmes in Türkiye, it is recommended that women should perform BSE once every month and have CBE once a year, and that women aged 40-69 years should have a mammogram every 2 years (Ministry of Health, 2016).

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