Published: 2021-03-25

Awareness of breast cancer risk factors and practices of breast self-examination among North Indian unmarried females

Kavita ., Damanpreet Kaur, Jarnail Singh Thakur, Darshna ., Pushplata ., Shilpa .


Background: Breast cancer is a leading health problem in females in developing countries. It is associated with various risk factors which are largely preventable. Risk factor awareness and adherence to healthy life style can play a significant role in prevention of cancer. So, study was undertaken to assess the awareness of risk factor of breast cancer and practices of breast self-examination among unmarried females.

Methods:  A descriptive cross sectional study design was adopted to recruit 150 subjects. Purposive sampling technique was used to enrol unmarried females above 19 years of age. Written informed consent was taken from participants. Interview schedule was constructed, validated and used for data collection. The data was analysed using SPSS version 20.0.

Results: Findings of the study revealed that mean age of participant was 22.65±3.21 years. Most of the females were aware that non breast-feeding practices (94.7%), infertility (84.7%), using oral contraceptives pills (50.7%), advancing age (48%), and any trauma to breast (36.7%) are risk factors of breast cancer. Nearly three fourth (76%) of the subjects had good awareness of breast cancer risk factors. However, breast self-examination was only practiced by 14.6% (22) subjects from total 150 subjects.

Conclusions: Study concluded that most of the women were aware about the risk factors of breast cancer, however only few were practicing breast self-examination. Since screening and early detection of breast cancer is crucial for cancer control, nurses as health professionals have a significant role to play in early detection and increasing awareness among individuals and communities.



Breast self-examination, Breast cancer, Awareness, Risk factor, NCDs

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