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Pan African Medical Journal

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Breast cancer knowledge and awareness among university students in Angola

MN Sambanje, B Mafuvadze

Abstract


Background: The high breast cancer mortality rate in Sub-Saharan Africa has been attributed to a lack of public awareness of the disease which often leads to late diagnosis of the disease. Little is known about the level of knowledge and awareness of breast cancer in Angola. Previous studies have shown that breast cancer awareness is higher among well-educated people. The goal of this study was to assess breast cancer knowledge and awareness among university students in Angola.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of university students using a self-administered questionnaire to investigate participants’ awareness and knowledge of breast cancer. A total of 595 university students in medical and non-medical programs successfully completed the survey.
Results: Our results showed insufficient knowledge of breast cancer among university students in Angola irrespective of whether they were in medical or non-medical programs. The majority of the participants were not aware of some of the early signs of breast cancer such as change in color or shape of the nipple, even though they appreciated the need for monthly breast self-examination. Overall most of the participants indicated the need for increased breast cancer awareness among university students.
Conclusion: The study points to the insufficient knowledge of university students in Angola about breast cancer. We expect that our results may provide useful data that may be used by the department of health in Angola and other African countries to formulate health education programs aimed at increasing awareness and promote screening and early detection of breast cancer in the continent.



AJOL African Journals Online