Exploring knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to breast and cervical cancers in Mongolia: A national population-based survey

Pooja Yerramilli, Otgonduya Dugee, Palam Enkhtuya, Felicia M. Knaul, Alessandro R. Demaio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. Mongolia bears the second-highest cancer burden inthe world (5,214 disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 people, age standardized). To determine drivers of the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases, including breast and cervical cancers, a national knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) survey was implemented in 2010. Methods. This paper analyzed the results of the 2010 KAP survey, which sampled 3,450 households nationally. Reflecting Mongolian screening policies, women aged 30 and older were included in analyses of questions regarding breastand cervical cancer (n = 1,193). Univariate and multivariate odds ratios (MORs) were derived through logistic regression to determine associations between demographic covariables (residence, age, education, employment) and survey responses. Results.This study found that 25.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 23.3-28.3) and 22.1% (95% CI: 19.8-24.5) of female participants aged 30 years or older self-rated their knowledge of breast and cervical cancers, respectively, as “none.” Employment and education were associated with greater awareness of both cancers and participation in screening examinations (p <.05). Clinical breast examinations were more common among rural than urban participants (MOR: 1.492; 95% CI: 1.125-1.979). Of all female participants, 17% (95% CI: 15.3-18.5) knew that cervical cancer is vaccine preventable. Conclusion. Our results suggest that cancer control in Mongolia should emphasize health education, particularly among lower-educated, rural, and unemployed women. The health infrastructure should be strengthened to reflect rural to urban migration. Finally, although there is awareness that early detection improves outcomes, a significant proportion of women do not engage in screening. These trends warrant further research on barriers and solutions. The Oncologist 2015;20:1266-1273

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1266-1273
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 28 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Cancer
  • Global health
  • Noncommunicable disease
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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