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The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of breast cancer awareness on the attendance for screening among women with breast cancer prior to diagnoses of breast cancer.Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women in Taiwan and its incidence rate continues to increase. However, screening for breast cancer is still not common even if the incidence rate has topped the list from 2003 to 2010.A cross-sectional study was conducted among women diagnosed with breast cancer. Subjects (535 women) were recruited from two medical centres in central Taiwan. Information on attendance for breast cancer screening was collected by self-report. Chi-square test and logistic regression were utilized to analyse the relationships between awareness of breast cancer and attendance at screening.The results indicated that pre-diagnostic awareness of ‘the concept of early treatment relating to higher cure rate’[odds ratio (OR): 4.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12–14.9], ‘various breast cancer screening methods’ (OR:3.00; 95% CI: 1.23–7.30), ‘the coverage of breast cancer screening programme in the National Health Insurance’ (OR:1.76; 95% CI: 1.03–3.02) and ‘breast self-examination after each menstrual cycle’ (OR:3.42; 95% CI: 1.99–5.87) were all significantly associated with the screening procedures performed.Findings of this study indicated that particular attention should be paid towards enhancement of women's knowledge for prevention and early detection of breast cancer through educational efforts by nurse professionals, medical institutions and/or civil organizations.