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Journal of Health Education Research & Development

ISSN: 2380-5439

Open Access

Awareness of breast cancer among women in Ebonyi State, Nigeria: Implications for educating women on breast cancer

Abstract

Cajetan Ikechukwu ILO1*, Omaka-Amari1, Lois Nnenna1, Ignatius Obilor Nwimo1 and Chinagorom Onwunaka2

Background Breast cancer mortality rate is increasing among women in developing countries a condition that might be brought about by lack of knowledge of fundamental elements necessary for cancer prevention. Purpose To ascertain level of breast cancer knowledge across some socio-demographic variables among women in Ebonyi State Nigeria Method A total sample of 1,845 women was used for the study selected through multistage sampling technique. A 40- items questionnaire eliciting answers on knowledge of cancer symptoms, risk factors, prevention methods and cancer treatment options was used for the study. Descriptive statistics of frequency and percentage were used to answer the research question while Chi-square statistic was used to test the hypotheses at an alpha level of 0.05. Results Knowledge of breast cancer was found to be on the average (48.72%); differed by age with younger women (35-44 yrs/56.43%) displayed higher knowledge of breast cancer than the older ones (45-54/46.03%); women with post-secondary education (67.66%) had higher knowledge than those with secondary (60.16%), primary (49.03%) and non-formal education (39.01%); urban women (55.61%) were more knowledgeable than rural women (47.81%). Chi-square analysis indicated that difference in knowledge was significant for educational attainment, age and location of residence. Conclusion Breast cancer knowledge of women in Ebonyi State is on the average and differed significantly by education, age and location of women. Consequent it is recommended that breast cancer education should be used to improve their knowledge of the disease, especially for those with non-formal education, older women and those in the rural areas through interventions by government and non-governmental agencies and through curriculum revision for schools.

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