Introduction: According to recent statistics, there has been a rapid growth of breast cancer in developing countries. Thus, early detection is essential. This study is based on the perception of people in the Northeast of Iran regarding breast cancer screening.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 1469 women were selected randomly in the period from April to November 2016. The study population consisted of women or their companions referring to outpatient clinics or people in public urban areas who filled out a breast cancer screening questionnaire in an interview.
Results: The patients’ age was in the range of 14 to 84 years (mean = 38.8). More than 84% of interviewees were not informed of breast cancer and screening tests. The main reasons mentioned by patients for their failure to do screening tests was ‘absence of any symptom or problem’ and ‘they did not think it was necessary’. There was not a significant difference between income level, marital status and knowledge of people about breast cancer screening tests (P > 0.05). However, employment, education level and family history had a positive effect on people’s awareness of breast cancer and its screening tests (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The lack of knowledge in people from low socio-economic classes was the main barrier to breast cancer screening. In this regard, organizing training programs by physicians and the media can help raise screening rates.