Free «Breast Cancer Screening» Essay

Breast Cancer Screening

Background Information

Summary of Previous Findings

Over the decades, breast cancer has been the most common type of cancer affecting Australian females. According to the research carried out by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2004), most women were first diagnosed at their 60’s. In particular, 75% of Australian women females diagnosed with breast cancer were aged 50 years and above. In 2006, about 12.5% of Australian women were diagnosed with breast cancer before their 85th birthday (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). In 2014, approximately 15,270 Australian females or about 42 females every day were diagnosed with breast cancer. Among diagnosed females, 1,501 were Western Australian women (DOH, 2013). The incidence of breast cancer is gradually increasing and in the next five years, about 17,210 new cases (47 cases every day) are expected (AIHW, 2012). There are more cases of breast cancer among Indigenous Australian females, including Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people, as compared to non-Aboriginal women. Native females live in rural areas where there are few or no breast cancer screening and diagnosis services. Older women are more vulnerable to breast cancer compared to young females.

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The main purpose of BreastScreen Australia is to detect unsuspected cases of breast cancer to allow early intervention. The latter can be achieved through the provision of free biennial breast cancer screening for Australian women aged 50-69 years. The age group has become the BreastScreen Australia target due to the higher breast cancer rate.

Gaps Identified

According to BreastScreen report conducted in 2010-2011, Indigenous women’s participation was about 36.2% while that of non-Aboriginal women was approximately 53.9% (AIHW, 2013).

BreastScreen conducted other research in 2011-2012 to establish whether there was a significant improvement in Indigenous women’s participation. The report statistics showed that Aboriginal females’ participation increased to 37.8% while the rate of non-Indigenous Australian women improved to 54.4% (AIHW, 2014). As a result, the gap in breast cancer screening and diagnosis participation changed from 17.75% to 16.6% from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012 (AIHW, 2014). The difference was attributed to strategies that BreastScreen Australia laid down to improve Indigenous women compliance.

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A third report by BreastScreen Australia indicated that native women’s participation rate decreased to 35.5% while that of non-Indigenous remained steady at 54.5% (AIHW, 2015). The 2012-2013 report showed a 19% increase in the gap between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous women’s participation; hence, the strategies were not significant.

As a result, a need arises to come up with a new intervention aimed at improving Indigenous women’s participation due to a lower rate of Aboriginal women’s participation compared to non-Indigenous females’ involvement. Additionally, there are more death rates among the Indigenous Australian women attributed by their negligence to participate in breast cancer screening (AIHW, 2013). Consequently, BreastScreen Australia needs to come up with training programs to enlighten Aboriginal women on the importance of mammography screening and follow-up appointments.

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Research Aims and Significance

Research Question

The research will seek to investigate:

  • If there is a significant discrepancy in the factors such as educational attainment, poor access to transport, and lack of health awareness services between Indigenous and non-Aboriginal Australian women?
  • If there is an improvement in Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australian women’s participation in breast cancer screening?

Research Aim

The primary aim of the study is to conduct a systematic review of factors that contribute to the discrepancy of breast cancer screening between Indigenous and non-Aboriginal Australian females aged between 50 and 69. Some of the factors that create a significant discrepancy in breast cancer participation include educational attainment, poor access to transport, and the lack of awareness of health services available. Indigenous Australian women are vulnerable to breast cancer due to the lack of breast screening services in rural areas where most of these females reside (AIHW, 2002).

Research Objectives

  • To establish the existing discrepancy between the Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australian women’s participation in mammography screening and follow-up appointments.
  • To carry out a literature review of factors that contribute to the difference in Australian females’ involvement in breast cancer screening.
  • To collect and analyze data to establish factors contributing to participatory discrepancies.

Significance of the Study

The study will assist in reducing the disease rate and minimizing chances of adulthood mortality that results from breast cancer. Secondly, it will help the AIHW to organize a mammography screening that detects unsuspected cancer in women and enables early intervention. The study will also help BreastScreen Australia to identify the groups of women to provide mammography assessment and screening. Indigenous and non-Aboriginal Australian women aged 50-69 are at a higher risk of breast cancer; therefore, the study will assist BreastScreen Australia in identifying signs of breast cancer. Thirdly, the study will motivate socially disadvantaged Australian females to take preventive measures by encouraging them to participate in follow-up appointments (AIHW, 2004). Health information available for the Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australian females determines the degree of women’s participation in breast cancer screening (AIHW, 2009). Therefore, the study will address discrepancies such as educational attainment, poor access to transport, and the lack of health awareness services available. Lastly, the review will create a link between the existing literature, current trends, and discrepancy factors established in the study. This information will significantly assist BreastScreen Australia and other community health centers in improving or developing appropriate women’s health services for Indigenous Australian women (National Breast Cancer Foundation, 2003).

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Justification of the Study

The study is expected to last eight months, which a relatively reduced time compared to previously carried studies. Thus, it will allow sufficient time to make conclusions and provide recommendations, especially to the government. There is a need to consider breast cancer screening and intervention to minimize breast cancer mortality (Murray-Wakelin, 2013). It will provide BreastScreen Australia with information crucial to monitoring performance and participation of Australian females (National Breast Cancer Foundation, 2003). According to AIHW (2008), Indigenous Australian women’s participation is minimal compared to non-Aboriginal females’ one; therefore, the study will increase the rate of participation in both groups.

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