Russian women know about breast cancer but refuse regular testing

This was the conclusion of the annual survey of Russian women by GFK-Rus, an independent market research institute, carried out as part of the Avon initiative ‘Let’s Fight Breast Cancer Together’.


Women from all over Russia took part in the survey. Today it is possible to overcome cancer of the mammary gland. In 94 % of cases given early diagnosis, it is susceptible to a complete cure. On average 88 % of those questioned were already informed about mammary gland cancer. It is a problem that particularly worries women of 40-49. Practically all (98 %) acknowledge the importance of early diagnosis but deliberately refuse to undergo regular examination. A quarter of Russian women have never had a breast examination and only 36 % intend to have one in the near future.


The explanation is fear of a visit to the doctor, claim the organisers of the research. It also came out that only 29 % of women regularly undergo any kind of examination and a quarter (26 %) of them have never been examined. A leading member of the Blokhina Russian Oncological Centre commented that some women so fear hearing a frightening diagnosis that even when they discover a lump in their breast they delay seeing the doctor for months. In fact new formations in the breast turned out to be malignant in only two cases in a hundred. It was enough to visit the gynaecologist or the oncologist to undergo the necessary investigation once a year. For women over 40 this meant having a mammogram. The statistics showed that up to 94 % of women who have a mammogram regularly and contract first stage cancer are cured, keeping their health and beauty.


The researchers observed that the extent to which women take responsibility for their own health differs from region to region. The most conscientious in this respect are the residents of Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Veliky Novgorod. Almost half of the respondents from these regions have a breast examination at least once a year. The least active are women from Tomsk and St Petersburg – only 20 and 25 % respectively consider having a regular examination.


One of the main conclusions of the research underlines the necessity of setting up a programme to encourage regular breast examinations. However, those who carried it out say that this task is not one for the Russian medical institutions and the state alone but also for socially responsible business.


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