Breast self examination practices among rural (Solwezi) and urban (Lusaka) women
Mukupo, Florence C.
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Breast cancer is a significant health threat for women and is currently the second- leading cause of cancer related deaths in women. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer of women in Zambia. Breast cancer screening has been shown to reduce mortality. Thus early detection is crucial. World Health Organization does not recommend mammography screening in developing countries because it is not cost effective. Breast Self Examination (BSE) is an alternative method of screening for breast cancer. BSE is recommended for all women over the age of 20. Despite this recommendation, adherence to BSE guidelines is quite low. Study Design The purpose of the current study was to compare knowledge and use of BSE among rural and urban women. The study also sought to detect associations between the study variables. Study Setting The study was conducted in Solwezi and Lusaka Districts. Sampling Simple random sampling was utilized to select the wards were the research was conducted. The using systematic sampling, households were selected. Then all women in childbearing age who met the inclusion criteria were interviewed. The age range was 15-49years because cancer of the breast has a high prevalence in this age group. A total of 238 respondents took part in the study. Instrument Data was collected using an interview schedule. Analysis Data analysis was done using EPI info statistical package. Results:The study showed that most of the respondents, 58.2% from urban area and 81.9% from rural area had no knowledge on breast cancer. The study also showed that BSE knowledge was low among the respondents. The majority of the respondents 84.5% in rural and 64.7% from urban area had no knowledge on BSE.BSE practice results showed that the majority of the respondents were not practicing BSE. The study concluded that both the knowledge and practice of BSE were low in both rural and urban areas.The study recommended that Primary health care workers should be trained to teach Breast self-examination (BSE). The MoH/CBoH should develop teaching manuals for use by health providers during BSE teaching so that there is consistence and uniformity in BSE information to the women. The MoH/CBoH should ensure that nurses' knowledge and skill in BSE should be improved through re-training so that they could give expert instructions to women in relation to BSE technique. Breast Awareness, which is advocated in place of routine breast examination, should be encouraged among women. Health providers should continue to initiate discussions on BSE and the importance of periodic check up that include Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) for all women.Women should be taught to request for CBE even if their initial visit has nothing to do with clinical breast examination. Nurses teaching BSE must emphasize that early detection and treatment enhances survival. School Health Programs should include health education on breast cancer and BSE so that these educational programs on BSE start as early as 12 years of age, so that the girl child could start BSE early and become familiar with her breasts.Health providers should display BSE posters in all examination rooms in clinics and hospitals. Men should be involved in BSE teaching for they can act as support group to women. Breast Cancer Trust, MoH/CBoH should reinforce educational programs on breast cancer and BSE on the media by including these educational programs in local languages.
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