When examining breast cancer, the majority of the literature primarily focuses on adults over the age of 40. Not much information is available on young adults in terms of their beliefs, knowledge, and perceptions of breast cancer or breast self- examination practices. Although the bulk of research focuses on the Western world, again, there is a large information gap in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. With this research, the primary goal was to establish a baseline of where young adults, under the age of 35, actually stood within this context. As no other study has even been conducted in this field in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the findings from this study are somewhat alarming. Although young adults are aware of what breast cancer is, it appears that they lack the initiative to engage in health protective or early detection practices. While 47% of the participants indicated that they never engaged in BSE practices, only 18% indicated that they practised BSE on a monthly basis. These findings raise serious questions regarding the existing health policy and public health initiatives in the TRNC.
Nalan Linda, Fraim.
The author received her PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University in 2009. In addition to having a private practice to help develop the field of health psychology in Istanbul, the author also teaches at a private university, writes for several magazines and conducts independent research on health and psychological issues in Turkey.