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Knowledge of breast cancer and practice of breast self examination among female senior secondary school students in Abuja, Nigeria.



Breast cancer is a public health problem that is increasing throughout the world especially in developing countries. The study was aimed at assessing the knowledge of breast cancer and practice of breast self examination (BSE) among female senior secondary school students in the municipal council area of Abuja, Nigeria.


This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among female senior secondary school students from selected schools in the municipal area council of Abuja. The tool for data collection was a structured self administered questionnaire. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16.0.


Two hundred and eighty-seven students participated in the study. Their mean age was 16.5 +/- 1.4 years. A greater proportion of respondents 163 (56.8%) had poor knowledge of breast cancer while 217 (75.6%) had poor knowledge of BSE. Only 114 (39.7%) of the respondents knew that being a female was a risk factor for breast cancer and the least known risk factors were obesity and aging. The major source of information for breast cancer and BSE among the respondents was the mass media. Only 29 (10.1%) of respondents had practiced BSE. Knowledge of BSE was significantly associated with BSE practice.


This study revealed that female secondary school students have poor knowledge of breast cancer. A good proportion of them knew that BSE could be used as a screening method for breast cancer but only few had practiced BSE. There is need for adequate health education on breast cancer and BSE among adolescent females in Nigeria.

Authors+Show Affiliations


Department of Community Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.



Age Factors
Breast Neoplasms
Breast Self-Examination
Cross-Sectional Studies
Educational Status
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Mass Media
Risk Factors
Social Class
Young Adult

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article



PubMed ID