Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Women in the UAE Towards Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention: A Cross-Sectional Study

Iffat Elbarazi, Zufishan Alam, Aminu S. Abdullahi, Shamma Al Alawi, Manal AlKhanbashi, Asma Rabaa, Aysha Al Aryani, Luai Ahmed, Fatma Al-Maskari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Breast and cervical cancers represent two important causes of cancer-associated deaths in females. Uptake in prevention towards these cancers remains low in the United Arab Emirates. Objectives: This study aimed to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practices of females residing in the Al Ain city, UAE, towards cervical and breast cancer prevention. Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted with 300 women, aged 30 years and above. The primary outcome measure was cervical and breast cancer prevention knowledge. The knowledge was queried through a number of items, with the resulting aggregate scores categorized into good and low knowledge. Chi-square test was conducted to investigate the association between prevention knowledge and sociodemographic factors. Additional outcomes included attitude towards and uptake of cervical and breast cancer screening. Results: Of the participants surveyed, 36.7% had good knowledge on breast cancer prevention, while 5.3% on cervical cancer prevention. Although the majority of the participants believed that prevention methods could save lives, they reported negative attitudes, considering screening unnecessary and painful. The self-reported screening uptake was 23% and 31.3% for mammography and Pap smear, respectively. Conclusions: The study reported that the knowledge and uptake of women was low for both breast and cervical cancer prevention. Targeted campaigns not only to increase knowledge but also to resolve misconceptions to change negative attitudes may lead to an increase in uptake.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Control
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2023


  • United Arab Emirates
  • breast cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • human papilloma virus vaccination
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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