Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 613

Full Length Research Paper

Awareness and psychosocial support for breast cancer patients and its public health implications

Nazat Sultana
Oncologist, Cancer Center Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 26 April 2019
  •  Accepted: 05 August 2019
  •  Published: 30 September 2019


Breast cancer is the most common and steeply rising cancer among women in Bangladesh. This qualitative observational study is done to assess the psychosocial sufferings of breast cancer patients. The purpose of the study is to evaluate eradication of social obstacles and to amend the overall level of distress and stigma associated with breast cancer. The observational prospective study was conducted on 240 patients aged 30 to 70 years at Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh from January 2014 to July 2017. The study was measured on breast cancer awareness and psychosocial support for breast cancer patients. In this study, the educational status of the most participants 126 (53%) was up to primary level. Maximum participants (91%) had strong misconception on breast cancer and they lead life with social disgrace. One hundred and forty seven (61%) members have poor, eighty (33%) members have average and the remaining thirteen (6%) have good awareness about breast cancer. Three fourth (75%) of the patients face negligence from community where few feels suicidal and became victim of psychosocial torture from close ones. The last section consists of family member’s view where most of them (93%) provide support to the patient. In contrary, two third (67%) of the family members do not give psychological support to the patient. The study suggested lack of familial and social consciousness and embarrassment of the cancer patients are the main obstacles to improve the quality of life. To overcome these challenges, emphasis should be on personal and public health education and psychosocial supports, as well as providing counseling, awareness and spiritual support by the caregivers and family members.

Key words: Psychosocial Support, Stigma of Breast Cancer, Misconception on Breast Cancer, Family and Caregiver Support for Breast Cancer Patients, Breast Cancer Awareness, Psychosocial Trauma.