Knowledge and practice of breast self examination among undergraduate students in Nigeria


It is the most common type of cancer in women and accounts for 23% of all cases of cancer that are diagnosed in women around the world. This makes breast cancer the most common type of cancer. In addition to this, it is the leading cause of deaths related to cancer in nations that have a limited supply of resources (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2010; Anderson, 2007). Even though there has been significant progress made in breast cancer survival rates in high-income countries, the risk of developing breast cancer is still on the rise, and survival rates in middle-income and low-income countries are still dismal. Even though there has been significant progress made in breast cancer survival rates in high-income countries, the risk of developing breast cancer is still on the rise (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2010). According to almost all national cancer registries, breast cancer is the most common type of female malignancy. It has been predicted that the region of sub-Saharan Africa will likely experience the largest increase in the incidence of cancer within the next 15 years worldwide. This prediction was made based on the fact that breast cancer is the most common type of female malignancy in this region. This is the area that is probably going to see the greatest increase in the number of people diagnosed with cancer (IARC, 2010; Rastogi, Hildesheim and Sinha, 2004).

It has been reported that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer found in women, both globally and in Nigeria. Furthermore, breast cancer is also the second leading cause of death in the country (Adebamowo and Adekunle, 2000; Parkin, Bray, Ferlay and Pisani, 2002). It has been observed that breast cancer has a poorer outcome among African-American women compared with the whites due to a more advanced stage at presentation (Breast Cancer Facts and Figures, 2009). This same trend has been reported among Nigerian women, as late presentation has been reported as the hallmark of breast cancer in this population. Breast cancer is more likely to be fatal in African-American women than in white women. The Facts and Figures Behind Breast Cancer: (Okobia, Bunker, Okonofua and Osime, 2006). On the other hand, research has shown that African women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age than women of Caucasian descent. This is the case when compared to women of other races (Parkin et al., 2002)


According to a number of studies, the vast majority of breast cancer cases are curable if the disease is discovered at an early stage. Education to promote early diagnosis and screening are the two primary components of early detection of breast cancer. The developing world is to blame for the overwhelming majority of deaths that have been attributed to the disease worldwide. The low survival rates in less developed countries may be primarily explained by a lack of early detection programs, lack of adequate diagnosis and treatment facilities, which results in a high proportion of women presenting with late stage disease. This is one of the main reasons why survival rates are so low in these countries. Because of this, there is a relatively low rate of successful treatment. It was estimated that there were 23.5 new cases of breast cancer among women aged 15 and older in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008 for every 100,000 women (World Health Organization, 2012). Breast cancer is associated with a wide variety of potential risk factors, all of which have been catalogued. Getting older, undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT), eating a diet high in fat, drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, smoking, and having a family history of breast cancer are some of the risk factors that contribute to developing breast cancer.


Breast cancers often present themselves in the form of palpable masses, inflammatory lesions, nipple secretions, or abnormalities on mammograms. Nipple secretions are another common manifestation of breast cancer. Mammography is still the best diagnostic tool available for the early detection of breast cancer; however, it is not routinely performed in Nigeria due to the high cost of the technology involved, as well as the expertise and knowledge that is required. In the United States, mammography screenings for breast cancer are routinely performed. Mammograms miss the majority of breast lumps in younger age groups; this is likely to be the case in Nigeria, where cases of breast cancer have been reported in patients younger than 30 years old. [Cases of breast cancer have been reported in patients younger than 30 years old] (Anyanwu, 2000; Banjo, 2004; Okobia and Osime, 2001; Wu and Tu, 2003). In the meantime, research has been carried out to investigate the significance of breast self-examination in the early detection of breast cancer in younger patients. [Citation needed] [Citation needed] A sizeable proportion of women are diagnosed with more advanced stages of the disease than they should be because of a deficiency in information, knowledge, and awareness concerning early detection measures (Ceber, Soyer, Ciceklioglu and Cimat, 2006). Modification of behavior is an absolute necessity if one wishes to reduce the number of deaths that are caused by cancer. According to a number of studies, the risk of breast cancer developing in Chinese American women has significantly decreased as a result of increased awareness and prevention efforts. This is due to the fact that breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women (Wu et al., 2003). Increasing one’s knowledge is one of the necessary predisposing factors that must occur prior to modifying one’s behaviors. The improvement of one’s health-seeking behavior can also be helped by increasing one’s level of knowledge, which is another important factor. Not only is it possible that increasing one’s level of knowledge will significantly improve attitudes, but it also has the potential to enhance screening procedures.