OBJECTIVES: to analyze nurses'performance in breast cancer control in Primary Healthcare Units located in Ceará, Brazil. METHODS: it is a descriptive study where participant observation was used as a data collection technique. Observation consisted of following the steps of the Quality Assurance Recognition Tool from the Quality Project (PROQUALI) comprising minimal quality criteria for nurses'performance in breast cancer control. The sample encompassed 13 nurses of six cities of a Healthcare micro-region of Ceará, Baturité. RESULTS: 23% of the nurses were careful enough to wash their hands before performing clinical examination of the breast (BCE), while 38% only washed their hands upon completing it; 31% explained what clinical breast examination was all about (BCE), 62% covered the women adequately; 54% accomplished the inspection; 100% performed node seeking palpation and 69% realized expression and only 30,8% of the nurses oriented the women to perform breast self-examination. CONCLUSIONS: the study indicated the need for training the nurses providing breast cancer control according to approved quality standards.
Breast neoplasias; Nursing; Primary health care