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Awareness and attitudes regarding breast cancer and breast self-examination among female Jordanian students

Author(s): Amal K Suleiman

Background: Despite huge efforts to increase the level of breast cancer awareness, breast self‑examination (BSE) is still poorly practiced across Jordan. This baseline study aimed to assess the awareness of female Jordanian students about breast cancer and their practice of BSE. Materials and Methods: Using a cross‑sectional research design, a self‑administered survey was used, via a pre‑validated pre‑piloted questionnaire was distributed to 900 female students aged between 18 and 37 years recruited from the University of Jordan in Amman. The questionnaire was divided into four domains: Socio‑demographic characteristics; the respondent’s knowledge of breast cancer and BSE; their attitude towards risk factors for breast cancer; their experience of breast cancer screening and BSE. Statistical analysis was performed using Epi‑Info version 6.4 statistical Software. Results: The overall response rate was 93.3%. Approximately half of the respondents 435 (51.8%) were aware of breast cancer. Of these, 99 (22.7%) believed that it was caused by a medical condition, followed by old age (71; 16.4%), lack of breastfeeding (58; 13.3%), heredity (56; 12.8%), late marriage (44; 10.3%), pregnancies in older women (33; 7.5%), the use of brassieres (18; 4.1%), excessive breastfeeding (17; 3.9%), being unmarried (14; 3.2%), and spirituality (11; 2.6%). Overall, 152 participants (34.9%) were aware of BSE, but only 93 (11%) had performed it. Conclusions: The current status of awareness of breast cancer in Jordanian students and their use of BSE are insufficient. Women need to be encouraged to self‑monitor in order to detect abnormalities in their breasts. Appropriate educational interventions are urgently required to encourage women to engage in regular BSE.


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