Breast cancer and breast self-examination awareness among undergraduate students of the University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Choumessi T. Aphrodite, Tchamba T.G. Stephanie, Ngwamenter Geayeal, Atabonkeng E. Philemon


Background: Breast self-examination (BSE) is an individual check-up to identify any health problem in the breast, especially breast cancer. However, though the university is the place of high education, the level of the student knowledge about breast cancer and BSE remains not quite known. This study aimed to identify awareness on breast cancer and BSE among the student population of The University of Bamenda, Cameroon.

Methods: A well designed descriptive study was carried out using a structured questionnaire to look at the awareness about breast cancer, its possible risk factors, signs and symptoms as well as the awareness on BSE among the students.

Results: Out of the studied population of 255 participants who completed the questionnaire, a good portion (91.76%) of the respondents have heard about breast cancer. Only 38.43% respondents knew some signs and symptoms of breast cancer while 44.31% had an idea of the treatment. The population pointed alcohol consumption and smoking, use of contraceptives and exposure to pesticides as possible risk factors of breast cancer. BSE was practiced by only 23.92% and only 20.39% of the participants suggested a monthly screening frequency. Across age ranges, 20 to 24 years old and 25-29 years old participants had almost 5 times more chances to have heard about BSE than younger people.

Conclusions: Summarily, the present study demonstrated that the general had poor  knowledge of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and the BSE practice, though  the  population  aged  20-29  years  old  has relatively heard about breast cancer and BSE.


Awareness, Breast cancer, Breast self-examination, University Bamenda students

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