The objective of this study was to evaluate the level of awareness, perception, specific knowledge, and screening
behaviour towards Breast Cancer among rural women in Ipokia local government area of Ogun state, Nigeria. It
was a cross-sectional design study, utilizing a pre-tested 36-item questionnaire (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.62) to
collect information about knowledge regarding Breast Cancer, perceived susceptibility and seriousness, perceived
benefits of screening and screening behaviour among women in the study location. One thousand, one hundred and
ninety-four respondents were recruited for the study by systematic random selection of women in the community.
Results indicated that the mean age of participants was 28.24 (Standard Error of Mean (SEM) 0.47) years. An
appreciable number of the respondents, 672(56.3%) were married, 58.1% have primary school education, 17%
obtained senior secondary school certificate as their highest level of education while 24.9% have no formal
education. There were 466(39%) Muslims, 19.7% Christians and 41.3% traditional religion worshipers among the
participants. Knowledge about breast cancer as an important disease in women measured on a 12-point scale
recorded a mean score of 4.97 (SEM 0.15) and perception of breast cancer considered in three sub-domains of
susceptibility, seriousness and benefit, measured on a 30-point scale, recorded a mean score of 17.65 (SEM 0.18);
while screening behaviour, measured on an 11-point scale, showed that respondents recorded a mean score of 2.40
(SEM 0.071). Also 468(39.2%) of the respondents reported having heard about breast cancer while 1131(94.7%)
have heard of gonorrhoea as a condition affecting women. The findings suggest that the level of awareness about
breast cancer among women in this study was low while their level of perception was just above average and
screening behaviour was very low. Again, perception variables positively and significantly correlated with
screening behaviour among the participants. There should be a serious awareness drive, education and
communication strategies packaged towards these women, to reinforce their positive trends. An aggressive health
promotion intervention must be urgently designed so as to encourage regular screening for breast cancer among
women in the rural communities.
Keywords: Breast cancer, perception, knowledge, screening for breast cancer.