Annals of African Medicine
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SHORT REPORT
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-58

Knowledge and practice of breast-self examination among female undergraduate students of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Northwestern Nigeria


Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
U M.D Gwarzo
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.55766

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Background : Carcinoma of the breast is an important public health problem in Nigeria and studies have reported low levels of awareness and practice of breast self examination as an important method of prevention. Breast self examination is a cost-effective method of early detection of cancer of the breast especially in resource poor countries. We assessed knowledge and practice of breast-self examination (BSE) among female undergraduate students of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria. Method : In this study, knowledge and practice of BSE were examined among 221 female students aged 16 - 28 years old studying at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria using self administered questionnaires. Results : It was found that despite nearly three quarter of the respondents (87.7%) had heard of BSE, only 19.0% of them were performing this examination monthly. Regarding the sources of information about BSE among respondents, media was found to be most common followed by health workers accounting for 45.5% and 32.2% respectively. Regular performance of BSE was significantly correlated with duration of stay in the University (X2 = 81.9, df = 3, P < .05) and family history of breast cancer (X2 = 17.4, df = 2, P < .05). Conclusion : We observed a disparity between high levels of knowledge of BSE compared to a low level of practice. Public health education using the media could significantly reduce the knowledge- practice gap and early detection of breast lump.


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