Breast Cancer Awareness and Practice of Breast Self-Examination among Female Medical Students in Haramaya University

Ethiopia Kalandar Ameer, Salah Abdulie, Sanjoy Kumar Pal, Khalid Arebo, Gebrehiwot Kassa
2014 International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS)   unpublished
Breast cancer is the commonest life-threatening cancer in women worldwide. Regular self breast examination is a novel method for early detection of this cancer which in tern may improve the prospects for long-term survival. We conducted a study to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding Breast Self-Examination (BSE) in female medical students of the College of Health and Medical Sciences at Haramaya University. A cross sectional study was carried out in 126 female medical
more » ... ale medical students from first year to internship of their medical study. Data were collected using a pre-tested structured self-administered quantitative questionnaire. All the participants had good knowledge about breast cancer and 95% of the participants believed that BSE can be an important tool for early detection of this cancer. About 85% participants agreed that early breast cancer detection improves survival. And 65% of students knew all three breast cancer screening methods viz. BSE, Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) and mammography. When it came to practice it was observed that 77% of the study participants have never done BSE, the main reasons behind this were, I don't have any problem (28.8%), forgetfulness (17.5%), and due to fear of detecting abnormality (16.4%). We conclude that despite of the adequate knowledge of BSE and breast cancer, the actual practice of BSE was very low (23%) among the medical students. We recommended that public awareness on the importance of BSE be intensified using the mass media and other means. Further studies are needed to explore what intervention could be best used to improve the uptake and practice of BSE and other methods for early breast cancer detection.