Womens awareness of cancer symptoms: A review of the literature

Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.
Women s Health 09/2012; 8(5):579-91. DOI: 10.2217/whe.12.42
Source: PubMed


Improvements in cancer detection and treatment have led to consistent declines in mortality from many cancers. However, many patients present for treatment at a point where more invasive treatment is required and/or treatment outcomes are less than optimal. One factor that has been consistently shown to be associated with late diagnosis and treatment is delay in seeking help for symptoms. This paper reviews the literature on women's awareness of cancer symptoms and aims to identify knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in order to improve help-seeking behaviors. The discovery of substantial gaps in awareness suggest a need for improved community education regarding cancer symptoms.

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    • "Thus, socioeconomic and cultural status may act by psychosocial pathways. More acculturated people may have higher knowledge about health-related topics, be more aware of their symptoms and communicate better with health staff than low-cultural people [21,22]. Health risk behaviors are defined as habits or practices that increase an individual’s likelihood of harmful health outcomes. "
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