Background: Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer affecting women worldwide. It comprises 22.9% of invasive cancers in women and 16% of all female cancers. It affects about 12% of the women population worldwide. In Nigeria, about one breast cancer death is reported in every 25 cases identified and the practice of breast self-examination has been reported to range from 19% to 43.2%. This cross sectional study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practice of breast self-examination (BSE) among female secondary school students in Osogbo Metropolis.
Methods: A total of 400 respondents were selected using multistage sampling technique. Data were collected using pre-tested self-administered semi structured questionnaire, analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences and presented using appropriate tables and charts. Level of significance set at < 0.05.
Results: The mean age ± SD is 14.77 ± 1.46 years. 390 (97.5%) respondents reported that they have heard of breast cancer while 235 (58.8%) respondents stated that they have heard of breast self-examination (BSE). 15 (3.8%) respondents said the procedures is time wasting while 82 (20.5%) respondents said the procedures were strenuous. 199 (49.8%) strongly disagree that performing breast self-examination may expose them to breast cancer. Individuals with poor knowledge are one time less likely to do breast self-examination (OR = 1.245, CI = 0.647 - 2.394) while in terms of attitude, those with unfavorable attitude are one time less likely to do breast self-examination (OR = 1.025 CI = 0.949 -1.107).
Conclusion: This study revealed a larger proportion of respondents have heard about breast cancer and breast self-examination but with inadequate knowledge of the correct procedures of breast self-examination (BSE) thereby resulting into poor attitude & practice of breast self-examination (BSE). This challenge therefore indicates an urgent need for continuous awareness and sensitization programs in the communities.
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