Journal of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria

: 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91--93

Awareness of breast cancer and breast self examination among female students of a tertiary institution in Zaria

MO Popoola, OB Popoola, BA Mohammed 

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How to cite this article:
Popoola M O, Popoola O B, Mohammed B A. Awareness of breast cancer and breast self examination among female students of a tertiary institution in Zaria.J Med Womens Assoc Niger 2021;6:91-93

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Popoola M O, Popoola O B, Mohammed B A. Awareness of breast cancer and breast self examination among female students of a tertiary institution in Zaria. J Med Womens Assoc Niger [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 6 ];6:91-93
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Breast cancer is a global health issue and a leading cause of death among women internationally/black women. (1-4) Breast cancer is distinguished by other types of cancers by the fact that it occurs in a visible organ and can be detected and treated at an early stage.

(5) The 5year survival rate reached 85% with early detection. Late detection decrease the survival rate to 56%.(6)

Low survival rates in less developed countries can be attributed to the lack of early detection as well as inadequate diagnosis and treatment facilities.


The recommended preventive techniques to reduce breast cancer mortality include

Breast Self-Examination (BSE)Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) andMammography.



Recommended Preventive techniques to reduce breast cancer mortality and morbidity which include:

Breast Self-Examination (BSE)Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) andMammography

90% of the times, breast cancer is first noticed by the person herself (7) the practice of BSE is low and varies in different countries as seen below;

England - 54%(8)Nigeria - 19% to 43.2%(9,10)India - 0 to 52%(11,12)


The aim of this study is to determine the respondent's awareness of breast cancer, and it's also aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of Breast Self- Examination (BSE) among female students of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.


A Cross-sectional descriptive study was used for this study, the data was analyzed by using SPSS version 20 and a test of significance at p<0.05 was recorded.Although all 185(100%) of the respondents


The total number of female students recruited for this study was 200; the total respondents were 185 bringing the response rate to 92.5%. Majority of the respondents (75.7%) were within the age bracket of 20-29 years. Mean age for the study was 22 years.

The minimum age for the study was 17years; maximum age was 35years while the mean age was 22.4 ± 3.36yrs.

Although all 185(100%) of the respondents have heard of breast cancer, only 82(44.3%) of them knew it to be a malignant disease of the breast. Their general knowledge of the risk factors for breast cancer was poor.


While 38.4% of the respondents have heard of mammography, only 20 (10.8%) have had a mammogram done.


The study showed that all the respondents were aware of breast cancer but there's need for more enlightenment to improve knowledge of risk factors. In the study, 125 respondents knew of BSE, 111 respondents knew of BSE as a Screening method but the actual performance of BSE is low.





Despite the fact that most of the respondents were aware of breast cancer and some of its screening methods, the actual practice of BSE is very poor. There is need for increased awareness among this cadre of females about the usefulness of regular BSE in early detection of Breast Cancer.



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