Preferences for Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women and Men in Kenya: Key Considerations for Designing Implementation Strategies to Increase Screening Uptake


Breast and cervical cancer incidence rates and mortality rates in Kenya are high. Screening is globally accepted as a strategy for early detection and downstaging of these cancers for better outcomes, but despite the efforts established by the Kenyan government to provide these services to eligible populations, uptake has remained disproportionately low. Using data from a larger study aimed at understanding the implementation and scale-up of cervical cancer screening services, we analyzed data to compare the preferences for breast and cervical cancer screening services between men and women (25-49 years) in rural and urban communities in Kenya. Participants were recruited in concentric circles starting at the center of six subcounties. One woman and one man per household were enrolled for data collection on a continuous basis. More than 90% of both men and women had a monthly income of less than US $500. The top three preferred sources of information on screening for cancers affecting women were health care providers; community health volunteers; and media such as television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. More women (43.6%) than men (28.0%) trusted community health volunteers to provide health information on cancer screening. Printed materials and mobile phone messages were preferred by approximately 30% of both genders. Over 75% of both men and women preferred an integrated model of service delivery. These findings show that there are many similarities that can be leveraged when designing implementation strategies for population-wide breast and cervical cancer screening hence reducing the challenge of addressing diverse preferences of men and women which may not be easy to reconcile.