Promoting early presentation of breast cancer in women over 70 years old in general practice

Jackie Campbell, Michelle Pyer, Stephen Rogers, J Jones, A J Ramirez, L J L Forbes

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Background Delay in presentation contributes to poorer survival of older women with breast cancer. Research has shown the effectiveness of the promoting early presentation (PEP) intervention when delivered by radiographers in the NHS Breast Screening Programme. This paper investigates the effectiveness of the intervention when delivered by practice nurses in general practice. Methods The Breast Cancer Awareness Measure was used to compare participants' awareness of breast cancer before, 1 month after and 12 months after the delivery of the PEP intervention. Five hundred and fifty-six women aged over 70 years took part, 308 of whom returned all three surveys. Results The intervention was associated with increased awareness of non-lump breast symptoms and reported breast check frequency. There was a marked increase in breast cancer awareness which persisted for 12 months. Less than 5% of women were classified as ‘breast cancer aware’ before the intervention, rising to over 25% 1 month afterwards. This percentage dropped slightly after 1 year to just below 20%. Conclusion Delivery of the PEP intervention in general practice was very effective at raising the awareness of breast cancer among older women. Primary care settings are well placed to enhance the reach of this kind of intervention to at-risk women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591–598
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number2
Early online date10 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2016


  • Cancer
  • primary care
  • public health


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