[en] Breast neoplasm ; Cervix neoplasm ; Female ; Health behaviour ; Mass screening ; Prevention
[fr] Cancer du sein ; Cancer du col de l'utérus ; Femme ; Comportement de santé ; Dépistage de masse ; Prévention
[en] Several surveys have shown that in Belgium the coverage of the female population for both breast and cervix cancers screening is too low and not evenly distributed in the target population. In order to highlight modifiable behavioural factors about cancer screening and to know the profile of women who exhibit an inadequate preventive behaviour, a postal survey has been conducted in the city of Liege. A self-administrated questionnaire was sent to a randomised sample of 1.000 women from two age groups (25-37 and 45-57 years); 444 women returned the questionnaire (response rate: 45.4%). The results show that the responders who do not comply with the recommendations for cancer screening are more often unemployed women with a low educational level, women who have a poor perception of their health, or women who are not regularly followed by a gynaecologist. Those women have more often poor knowledge and wrong beliefs about prevention, a negative perception of the curability of a cancer detected early and of the efficacy of screening tests. In spite of an overrepresentation of women with an university degree among the responders, it was also observed that more than 1 woman out of 4 in the 25-37 years age group is not convinced of the pap smear efficacy. In view of these results, the design of screening campaigns for cancer prevention has to involve specific efforts targeted at under-privileged subgroups within the female population.