Risk perception is a significant component of awareness of breast cancer risks. It can be helpful to reduce deaths of breast cancer via increasing awareness risk level. This study aimed to discuss the level of perceived and calculated breast cancer risk and to provide data on the practice of breast self-examination and use of mammography among 215 nurses and midwives working in the 23 primary healthcare centers in Turkey. Participants were asked to assess their personal lifetime breast cancer risk by a 4-item Likert scale ("no risk," "usual," "moderate," and "strong" risk), which determined "perceived breast cancer risk." Gail model was used to assess the "calculated breast cancer risk," which was calculated by the tool provided by the National Cancer Institute, version 7. Perceived and calculated risk levels were compared. The relation between sociodemographic and risk factors with "perceived risk" was examined. In addition, the influence of perceived risk on breast cancer screening practice was also assessed. The level of perceived risk of nurses and midwives was higher than that of calculated risk. Considering the fact that participants were healthcare professionals, the use of breast self-examination and mammography practices as a preventive behavior by nurses and midwives was lower than expected. Implications are discussed with regard to breast cancer risk and preventive behavior.
From the Izmir Ataturk School of Health, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey (Dr Çeber); Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey (Drs Soyer and Ciceklioglu); and Ministry of Health, Izmir, Turkey (Dr Sunduz Cimat).
Corresponding author: Esin Çeber, PhD, RN, Izmir Ataturk School of Health, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Accepted for publication November 29, 2005.