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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 79

Awareness and Knowledge of Breast and Cervical Cancers Among Women in Delta State

Department of Community Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital Oghara

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ABSTRACT Background: Mortality from breast and cervical cancers has been on the increase in recent times especially in developing countries. Lack of proper awareness and knowledge of cancer symptoms have been shown to be one of the factors responsible for this menace. This study therefore determined the awareness and knowledge of women about cancers, with particular reference to breast and cervical cancers. It also identified the relationship between socio demographic factors (age and education) and level of knowledge and awareness of these cancers. Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study design was used in this study and a total of 225 women of child bearing age were selected using random sampling from different religious centres in the 3 senatorial districts of Delta State. Data was collected using a questionnaire which was both self and interviewer administered. The questionnaire elicited information on the women's awareness and knowledge of cancers generally with specific emphasis on breast and cervical cancers. Bivariate analysis was done using SPSS version 22. Categorical variables were compared using the Pearson Chi-square test and likelihood ratio where necessary. Significance level was set at 0.05. Results: The study was conducted among 225 women, however, 206 questionnaires was correctly completed with a response rate of 92%. The main sources of information about cancers were television (40.8%) and radio (48.5%). Slightly over one-third (26.7%) of the participants who were aware of breast cancer belonged to age group 30- 39 years and less than two-fifth (38.3%) of participants unaware of cancer were aged 50-59 years. The association between awareness of breast cancer and age group was statistically significant (p = 0.004). The association between knowledge of cervical cancer and age group as well as their level of education was also statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusion/ Recommendations: The study showed that despite the high level of awareness on the part of the respondents, their level of knowledge about breast and cervical cancers was very low. The study further revealed that a positive relationship existed between the socio demographic factors (age and education) and awareness as well as knowledge of breast cancer, while a positive relationship was observed only between education and knowledge of cervical cancers. Therefore there is the need to use every available opportunity including social media to increase public health awareness on breast and cervical cancers among women.

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