Knowledge and practice of self-breast examination among female undergraduate students in a northern Nigeria university

  • MN Sambo
  • SH Idris
  • IL Dahiru
  • AA Gobir
  • AA Gobir


Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death amongwomen and the commonest female malignancy world- wide. If detected early, it is often successfully treated but when detected late it is often fatal. Therefore early detection is the key to survival. Breast-Self Examination (BSE) is an inexpensivemethod for early detection of breast cancer. Thus, knowledge and consistent practice could protect women from severe morbidity and mortality due to breast cancer. The objective of the study was to determine the knowledge and practice of BSE amongst female undergraduate students in a Northern Nigerian University. A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted among the female undergraduate students.Multistage sampling technique was employed to interview 345 students using  structured self administered questionnaires. The result showed that 87.3% of the respondents were aware of breast cancer. However, a significant proportion 20.0% did not know its aetiology. On the knowledge and practice of breast self examination, about three-quarters (74%) confirmed that they had heard of it while 55.0% confirmed practicing it. However, no association was established between the knowledge and practice of BSE and the level of study of the respondents. In conclusion, awareness of BSE
among respondents was high while the practice was fairly good. There is therefore the need for more health education in order to improve the level of practice among the students. IEC means such as; Campus radio,  pamphlets, posters and peer group educators would be of immense help.

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eISSN: 1596-6941