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Background: Early diagnosis of breast cancer has been associated with better outcomes in diagnosed cases. Breast self-examination (BSE) is an inexpensive but effective method of identifying breast masses that may be cancerous.
Objectives: To identify the knowledge, attitude and practice of BSE among women in Abia State, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 415 women in Aba, a commercial city in Abia State. Pretested questionnaires were administered on women who consented to participate in the study. Analysis of data was done using IBM SPSS Version 20.
Results: The mean age of the 415 participants was 36.7±9.9 years. About 9% of respondents had a positive family history of breast cancer. Majority of the women; 76% (331) had heard of BSE with highest (34%) source of information being radio and television. While 67.5% knew how to do BSE, only 32% knew the right frequency for performing BSE. Though majority of women agreed that it was necessary to see a doctor for breast examination; only 39% had done so previously while 54% felt having a doctor examine their breast would be embarrassing. Only 28% of the women had practiced BSE in the past. Reasons given for not practicing BSE were lack of knowledge and forgetfulness.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated high knowledge and good attitude but poor practice of BSE.
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