Using the AWACAN tool

Collecting data

The AWACAN tool is a 123-item questionnaire that measures women’s awareness of breast and cervical cancer across. The tool measures awareness in the following domains: risk factors, symptoms, lay beliefs, confidence in appraisal, help-seeking behaviours, and barriers to health care and has socio-demographic questions.

The AWACAN tool takes 25 minutes to administer and was designed to be delivered face-to-face by a trained interviewer. We developed the tool to address both breast and cervical cancer in one study, however the tool can also be used to collect information on either cancer alone.

The tool is available in English, IsiXhosa and Acholi.

Locally developed breast images depicting symptoms of: a change in position of nipple, nipple retraction and, orange peel appearance of skin are available for use with the tool. Images by Donovan Ward as commissioned by Dr Lydia Cairncross, Groote Schuur Hospital Breast Clinic, Cape Town