Knowledge of Breast Cancer and Need for its Screening Among Female Healthcare Workers in Oshimili South Local Government Council Area of Delta State, Nigeria
Background: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women worldwide and the most common among African women. The WHO, recent global cancer statistics indicate a rising global incidence of breast cancer in populations of the developing countries that previously enjoyed a low incidence of the disease. Early detection through mammogram, clinical breast examination (CBE), and breast self examination (BSE) is critical to reducing breast cancer related morbidity and mortality.
Objectives: To assess the knowledge, awareness, perception and behavior of female healthcare workers in Oshimili South LGA of Delta State towards breast cancer and its screening.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study done from January to March 2014. Multistage sampling technique was used in the selection of the LGA and study participants. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and were analyzed using SPSS version 17.
Results: A total of 424 female healthcare workers were interviewed. The mean age was 35.4 years and ranged from 21 to 58 years. A total of 406 respondents (97.1%) were aware of breast cancer; 340(81.3%) practice breast self examination (BSE); 117(41.9%) knew about breast mammography. The commonest source of information about breast cancer was from fellow healthcare workers (45.3%), followed by school (16.5%), and newspaper (14.8%).
Conclusion: The study shows a high level of awareness of breast cancer and BSE but a low level of awareness of breast mammography. The level of awareness of breast cancer, the practice of BSE and awareness of breast mammography were all found to increase with increase in age of respondents. The married respondents were more aware of breast cancer and also of breast mammography. Higher educational level was not found to increase awareness of breast cancer, practice of BSE and knowledge of breast mammography.
Key words: Breast cancer, knowledge, screening
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