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BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in females and the leading cause of cancer morbidity and mortality world-wide. The incidence of breast cancer is rising rapidly as well as its mortality rate. It is a malignant tumour that develops from the breast cells. It usually starts from the inner lining of milk ducts or lobules that supply them with milk. Breast cancer incidence is rising rapidly, as a result, it has become one of the major focus of scientific research and its screening is now of great importance.
The incidence, prognosis and survival rate of breast cancer varies greatly around the world. The prognosis and survival rate depend on the stage of at diagnosis and the geographical location of the patient; in the Western world the survival rate is high but low in the developing countries,(National cancer institute, 2011;American cancer society,2003).
According to the National Cancer Institute,(2011), about 232,340 female breast cancer and 2,240 male breast cancer are reported in the USA each year, as well as about 39,620 deaths caused by the disease. It accounts for 16% of all female cancer and 22.9% of invasive cancers in women, and18.2% of all cancer deaths world-wide including both males and females are from breast cancer (Menson, 2014). The incidence of breast cancer has shown an upward trend in younger women. Globally, breast cancer is the most common malignant neoplasm among women.In Egypt, breast cancer accounts for 35.1% of the cases of cancer and is the most prevalent cancer among Egyptian women; the median age at diagnosis for breast cancer is ten years younger than in the United States and Europe (Abdulla, 2011). According to World Health Organization report there were about 519,000 women who die from breast cancer annually and more new cases are found, which is estimated to be one million of women develop breast cancer each year approximately (WHO, 2013;Afaf et al,2015).
It has been reported that more than 80,000 new cases of breast cancer are detected world-wide and the disease claims more than 35,000 lives every year, a rise of about 18% since 1990 (Menson, 2001).
The reason for this increasing incidence and mortality from breast cancer is lack of breast cancer screening and awareness leading to late detection and diagnosis of the disease, as this is evidenced by many of the breast cancer cases in developing countries being reported at advanced stage, resulting in poor treatment outcome; this is commonly observed in developing or low income countries, where breast cancer was characterized by late clinical presentation and in advance stage of the disease, when only chemotherapy and palliative care could be offered, and therefore associated with high mortality,(Afolayan, Olaoye,Adesina&Saidu, 2012).
Breast cancer screening is pertinent and it is the regular examination of a woman’s breast to detect breast cancer early (Chiarelli, 2014). It is the medical screening of asymptomatic, apparently healthy women for breast cancer in an attempt to achieve an earlier diagnosis.
Some of the screening tests are clinical and self breast examination, mammography genetic screening, Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance imaging,(Yager,2006;Beral,2004). Nearly all university students are at a stage where it is significant that they at least carry out BSE on a regular basis to sense any changes early. (Afaf et al2015). In recent times, it has been observed that the overall female folks, particularly undergraduate students who are expected to be adequately knowledgeable about breast cancer, its symptoms, and risk factors and screening, have no knowledge on these (National Cancer Institute, 2011). It is based on this that this study on knowledge and attitude of female undergraduate students towards breast cancer screening in the University of Port Harcourt is carried out.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Breast Cancer constitutes a major public health issue globally with over 1 million new cases diagnosed annually, resulting in over 400,000 annual deaths and about 4.4 million women living with the disease. It also affects one in eight women during their lives.It is the commonest site specific malignancy affecting women and the most common cause of cancer mortality in women worldwide. It is also found in men but not very common. Statistics available in Nigeria are largely unreliable because of many factors that have not allowed adequate data collection and documentation; but according to numbers provided by Globocan in 2002, Breast Cancer is responsible for about 16% of all cancer related deaths in Nigeria. In a recent publication by Okobia et al (2006):”Late presentation of patients at advanced stages when little or no benefit can be derived from any form of therapy is the hallmark of breast cancer in Nigerian women.” This is indeed a worrisome trend and it appears to be the norm in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are to
1. Determine the cause of breast cancer among female students in faculty of social science, Delta state university
2.Determine the level of knowledge of female undergraduates on breast cancer screening in Delsu
3.Determine the attitude of female undergraduates towards breast cancer screening.
4.Determine how can breast cancer be effectively manage
There is no significant relationship between knowledge and attitude of female undergraduates towards breast cancer screening.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The research was aim to determine the causes, management and perception of breast cancer among female students in faculty of social science, Delta state university, Abraka, Delta state. Female students were selected at random from each of the department in the faculty which include, Economics, psychology, Geography, political science and sociology.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will aid at creating awareness about the causes of breast cancer and how it can be effectively manage in schools and the nation at large. The study will also help government create an awareness programme on breast cancer in the society and also provision of health tips for prevention and management
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