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Awareness of Breast Cancer and Breast Self Examination Among Female Secondary School Teachers in Enugu Metropolis, South Eastern Nigeria.
Background: Breast cancer is the commonest malignancy affecting women in Nigeria. Regular breast self examination reduces morbidity and mortality from this disease
Objective: To assess the knowledge of breast cancer, breast self examination and practice
amongst secondary school teachers in Enugu , Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of four hundred and twenty eight teachers drawn from sixteen randomly selected secondary schools in Enugu was done using self administered questionnaire. Information obtained were socio demographic characteristics of the teachers, knowledge of symptoms and signs of breast cancer, screening methods as well as their knowledge and practice of BSE.
Results: Majority (88.8%) of the teachers had heard of breast cancer .Electronic and print media were the major sources of information. Knowledge of symptoms of breast cancer revealed pain in the breast as the commonest (35.4%) followed by a painless lump (24.1%) .Only 18.3% knew that there was a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Three hundred and ninety eight (93.0%) knew breast cancer could be detected early, while 389 teachers identified BSE as a screening test .Only 26.9% of the teachers possessed adequate knowledge of the correct technique for BSE and 41 (9.6%) correctly identified the right time to perform a BSE. Regular practice of BSE was low (47.9%). There was no relationship between age, marital status, educational attainment and regular practice of BSE.
Conclusion: There is a critical need to provide adequate information to women on early symptoms and signs of breast cancer as well as improve their knowledge and practice of BSE. Doctors and other health workers should make use of every contact with their female clients to provide these information using appropriate health education tools.
Keywords: Breast Cancer Awareness; Breast Self Examination; Enugu.
Journal of College of Medicine Vol. 13 (2) 2008: pp. 105-110