Breast Self-Examination Knowledge and Practice among Female Students: Case of a Public University in Bangladesh

MM Mehedi Hasan, Dilruba Easmin Jharna, Farzana Afroz, Samima Afroj


Breast self-examination (BSE) is a cost-effective method for early detection of breast abnormalities which could result in cancer. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women in Bangladesh. The study was done to assess the knowledge level and practice of breast self-examination among female undergraduate students of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU), Bangladesh. This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 270 female undergraduate students selected by simple random sampling technique using a pretested structured self-administered questionnaire. Of the respondents, no one had personal history of breast cancer, but 15.9% had family history. Nearly half of the students (43.3%) never heard of BSE and those who have heard (56.7%) also knew it as useful tool for early detection of breast cancer. More than half of the students (61.9%) had poor knowledge, 26.3% satisfactory and only 11.9% had good knowledge on BSE. Majority (96.3%) did not know about the correct duration of BSE, more than one third of them did not know that lump in the breast is the early sign of cancer, they were also uniformed about the correct position, techniques and methods of BSE. Only 6.3% students had perform BSE and 29.4% of them discovered abnormalities. No one performed BSE at the right time. Lack of knowledge and carelessness was found as the main reason behind not performing BSE correctly. The result of this study reflect the need for encouraging education program on BSE knowledge and practice for increasing breast cancer awareness.

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