Awareness of Breast Cancer and Practice of Breast Self-Examination among Rural Women in Ife-North Local Government Area, Osun State, South-West Nigeria
Background and Objective: Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women in globally and in Nigeria. In Nigeria, cases of breast cancer cases have been prevalent for three decades and more than 90% of cases can be detected by women themselves through breast self – examination. The objective of this study therefore, was to assess rural women's level of awareness and knowledge of breast cancer and the practice of breast self- examination.
Methods: The data for this was collected in the months of March and April, 2011. A structured interviewer–administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 420 randomly selected volunteered women from two randomly selected wards in Ife North Local Government Area (a rural Local Government Area) in Osun State, SW Nigeria.
Results: 400 questionnaires were properly filled and subsequently used for data analysis and results showed that a large proportion (78.8%) had erroneous belief that keeping money in the brassier can cause breast cancer despite the fact that majority (87.8%) of them claimed to be aware of the disease. Cigarette smoking had the highest percentage (51.5%) among the correct risk factors for breast cancer being agreed to by the respondents. Their awareness and practices of breast self- examination (BSE) were also low (47% and 29% respectively). Age and religion of the respondents had significant effect on the practices of BSE (p=0.013 and p=0.0001 respectively).
Conclusion: Appropriate educational program is suggested in order to improve the knowledge of women regarding breast cancer and increase their practices of breast self examination.
Keywords: Breast Cancer, Breast Self- Examination, Knowledge, Rural Women