Awareness, knowledge and practices of breast cancer screening measures among female postgraduate students of a Nigerian Federal University: a cross-sectional study

Awareness, knowledge and practices of breast cancer screening measures among female postgraduate students of a Nigerian Federal University: a cross-sectional study

Author by Prof. Christiana Sowunmi

Journal/Publisher: Afr J Med Med Sci.

Volume/Edition: 48

Language: English

Pages: 79 - 86

Abstract

Introduction—Annually, over a million new cases of breast cancer results in about 375,000 deaths worldwide. Recently, the burden of the disease has been on the increase in Nigeria and most cases present in hospitals late when cure becomes elusive. The choice of postgraduate students for this study was as a result of their potential to impact positively on the rest of the population by the virtue of their present or future positions. This forms the basis for this study. Methods—This cross-sectional descriptive study recruited 278 female postgraduate students of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria as participants using purposive sampling technique. Data were collected with the aid of a validated structured questionnaire. The research protocol was approved by the UI/UCH Ethical Committee. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis with the aid of Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. Results—The students’ mean age was 27 years ± 5.1 Std. Most of the postgraduate students were aware of the breast self examination (BSE), clinical breast examination (CBE) and mammography through health workers. Out of 159 respondents that claimed to be practicing BSE, 118 (58.4%) used to practice it occasionally. Out of 53 postgraduate students that had CBE done, 7.4% had CBE done by nurse/midwives. Among the students 11.4% had good knowledge of BSE. Similarly, 33.7% had good knowledge of breast cancer risk factors. Besides, the higher the level of knowledge of breast cancer the more the possibility that postgraduate students will practice BSE (Chi-square = 15.169, df = 4, P-value = 0.004). Conclusion—It is suggested that health workers should reach students within the academic communities with effective breast cancer prevention campaign programmes. Besides, both printed and electronic media should be used for dissemination of health education/information to ensure wider coverage.


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