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The public views the media as an important source of information on science, health and wellness issues (Andsager & Powess, 1999). Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide; it is a major cause of death among women aged 30 and above. It is the most common form of cancer among women in both high and low resource setting countries (Bray, McCarron & Parken, 2005; Dumitrescu & Crotaria, 2004; WHO Global Burden of Disease, 2004).
1.1 Background of the Study
The prevalence of Breast Cancer among Nigerian women has been the subject of discourse in recent time. Each diagnosis of cancer usually comes with fear, confusion as well as the uncertainty of survival, which can be alleviated by timely information that can produce behavioural change.
Over the years, information has increasingly been considered
important in helping people cope with cancer (Meredith & Symonds,
1996). Numerous studies have shown the continuing dissatisfaction with
current information provisions in terms of content and delivery
mechanisms. Lack of timely and accurate information has been
responsible for not meeting the needs of women with breast cancer, given that information can play an important role in patient’s empowerment and satisfaction. (Jenkins & Fallowfield, 2001; Bray, McCarron & Parken, 2005; Dumitrescu & Crotaria, 2004)
Breast cancer has touched the lives of countless people, yet many
women have misconceptions about the disease. One of the most common
sources for breast cancer information used by Non-governmental
Organizations in their campaigns is the newspaper.
Every day, women read facts about breast cancer awareness followed by messages telling them to get mammogram, perform breast self-examinations, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. Information about breast cancer during these campaigns such as risk factors, preventive measures and findings of recent studies about the disease frequently appear in the media. The mass media, especially the newspaper, play a vital role in public understanding of many health issues and the information relayed to the public through this medium often influences health behaviour (Kreps, 2003).
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