Main Article Content
Aims: The study was aimed at investigating knowledge, attitude and practice towards breast cancer and breast self-examination among female undergraduate students in Karachi, Pakistan.
Study Design: Cross Sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted for a period of four months in different universities of Karachi, Pakistan.
Methodology: The study was done using a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 381 undergraduate students of medical and non-medical universities were included.
Results: The mean age of participants was 20.45 ± 3.67 years. 97% of the candidates had heard about breast cancer out of which only 65.4% were aware about its high prevalence rate in Karachi, Pakistan. A good proportion of candidates i.e. 78% of participants had good knowledge of breast self examination out of which only 43.8% knew how to perform it but just 24.9 % actually performed it.
20.5% of female population had made arrangements for breast screening once in their lifetime however many of the candidates (39.1%) never experienced any symptoms of breast pathology thus never felt the need to screen themselves.
Various signs and symptoms were considered as indications of breast cancer though lump as a sign was answered the most by 76.1% students. Out of the several risk factors of breast cancer 70.9% of candidates responded as family history the most common risk factor and early menstruation as a risk factor was 22.8% (the least).
44.4% of the aware candidates stated that they acquired this knowledge from social media. 21.5% had a positive family history. Mammography as a diagnostic modality was considered the most helpful by 61.4% population.
Conclusion: The study points out to the sufficient knowledge and attitude of breast cancer among female undergraduates in Karachi, Pakistan. However, they lacked the practice towards breast self examination. We expect that our results may provide useful data that could be used by the department of health in Karachi, Pakistan to formulate their health programs to increase the knowledge, attitude and practice towards breast cancer and breast self-examination.
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