Practice of breast self-examination among rural women in Umuowa, Orlu government area, Imo state, Nigeria


  • Ada C. Nwaneri Department of Nursing, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Anthonia Chidinma Emesowum Department Nursing, Imo State University, Orlu Campus, Owerri, Nigeria
  • Eunice Ogonna Osuala Department of Nursing Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Awka, Nigeria
  • Ijeoma Okoronkwo Department of Nursing, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Patricia Uzor Okpala Department of Nursing, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nsukka, Nigeria
  • Florence O. Adeyemo Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, LadokeAkintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Osun state



Awareness, Breast self- examination, Breast cancer


Background: Regular practice of breast self- examination is the corner stone of the fight against breast cancer. Increasing breast health awareness would potentially allow for early detection of any anomalies and consequently result in early prognosis. This will in turn lead to increase in survival rate of breast cancer.This study was designed to assess practice of breast self- examination (BSE) among rural women.

Methods:Descriptive survey design with the aid of a questionnaire which served as an interview schedule was conducted among 349 women in Umuowa Orlu L.G.A. The main outcome measures were the level of awareness and practice of BSE.   

Results: From a total of 349 women, a little above half (50%) of the respondents understood the meaning of BSE. Few of the respondents knew that BSE increases survival rate of breast cancer by early detection of abnormalities. Majority of the respondents did not know the abnormalities to check during BSE. Only a few of the respondents knew that BSE should be performed by every woman. Generally, the practice of BSE was inadequate for majority of the participants. There was a positive relationship between the respondents’ awareness of breast cancer and their practice of BSE (P-value = 0.000<0.05).

Conclusions:The importance of BSE as a key factor in the early detection of breast cancer should be stressed with special emphasis on regular practice of BSE. The proper procedure of BSE should be taught to women in order to ensure accuracy of performance.


Obaji I, Elom H, Agwu U, Nwigwe G, Ezeonu P and Umeora O. Awareness and Practice of Breast Self Examination among Market Women in Abakaliki Southeast Nigeria. Annual Med. Health Sci. Research. 2013;3(1):7-12.

Isara A, Ojedokun C. Knowledge of breast cancer and practice of breast self-examination among in Abuja. Nig. J Prev Med Hyg. 2011;52 (4):186-90.

Pindiga H, Babayo U, Omatara O. Pattern of cancer in Maiduguri, Nigeria: Tumours in Adults. High Land Medical Research Journal. 2004;2:45-50.

Salaudeen A, Akanda T, Musa O. Knowledge and attitude to breast cancer and breast self examination among female undergraduates in a state in Nigeria. European Journal of social sciences.2009;7(3):157-65.

Oluwatosin O. Assessment of Women’s Risk Factors for Breast Cancer and Predictors of the Practice of BSE in Two Rural Areas in Ibadan, Nigeria. Cancer Epidemiology. 2010;34:425-8.

Otunne C. Breast Cancer: Causes and Therapies; Rex Press, CKC. Aba. 2008.

Iheanacho P, Ndu A, Emenike A. Awareness of breast cancer risk factors and practice of BSE among Female Undergraduates in University of Nigeria Enugu Campus. Open Journal of Nursing. 2013;3:147-52.

Doshi D, Reddy B, Kulkarn S, Karunakar P. Breast self examination: knowledge, Attitude and Practice among Students in India. Indian Journal of Palliative Care. 2010;(1):66-7.

Gwarzo U, Sabitu K, Idris S. Knowledge and practice of BSE among female undergraduate students of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, North Western Nigeria. Annals of African Medicine. 2009;8(1):55-5.

Omotara B, Yahya S, Amodu M, Bimba J. Awareness, Attitude and Practice of Rural Women Regarding Breast Cancer in Northeast Nigeria. J Community Med. Health Edu. 2012;2:148.

Oluwatosin O. Primary healthcare nurses’ knowledge, practice and clients teaching of early detection measures of breast cancer in Ibadan. BMC Nursing. 2012;11:1-8.

Atanga B, Atashili J, Fuh E, and Eta V. Breast self examination and breast cancer awareness in women in developing countries: A survey of women in bueaCameroon. 2012. Available on: [Retrieved 14/04/2013].

National Breast Cancer Foundation, (2012). Available aboutbreastcancer/breast self-exam. [Retrieved 06/08/13].

Ginsberg M, Lauer J, Zelle S, Bacten S, Baltussen R. Cost effectiveness of strategies to combat breast, cervical and colorectal cancer in Sub-caharan African and South East Asia: Mathematical Modeling Study. BMJ. 2012;344:614.

Mercola J. Still getting mammograms?Available on: [Retrieved 14/4/13].

Nahid N, Masound S, Mohamood H, Mohamood E. A Survey of Breast Cancer Knowledge and Attitude in Iranian Women Cancer Research Center.Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics. 2012;8(1):46-9.

Rao RS, Nair NS, Kamath VG. Acceptability and Effectiveness of a breast health awareness programme for rural women in India. Indian Journal Med Sci. 2009;5(9):398-420.

Aniebue P, Aniebue U. Awareness of breast cancer and breast self-examination among female secondary school teachers in Enugu metropolis, South Eastern Nigeria. Journal of College of Medicine. 2008;13(2):105-10.

Haji-Mahmood M, Montazeri A, Jarvandi S, Ebrahimi M, Haghighati S, Harirchi I. Breast self-examination: knowledge, attitude and practices among female healthcare workers in Tehran, Iran. The Breast Journal. 2002;8(4):232-5.




How to Cite

Nwaneri, A. C., Emesowum, A. C., Osuala, E. O., Okoronkwo, I., Okpala, P. U., & Adeyemo, F. O. (2017). Practice of breast self-examination among rural women in Umuowa, Orlu government area, Imo state, Nigeria. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 3(6), 1516–1524.



Original Research Articles