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      Practice of Breast Self-Examination and Knowledge of Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening: A bi-national Survey in Africa

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          Abstract

          Background: The burden of breast and cervical cancer is increasing exponentially, especially among women in low- and mid-income countries due to late diagnosis, unhealthy lifestyle choices and adoption of western lifestyles. Early detection, hinged on screening uptake is a key to higher survival rate and managing cancer outcome. Despite some improvement noticed in developed countries, the control of these preventable diseases in African countries including Nigeria and Egypt seems insurmountable. Therefore, this study focused on assessing the knowledge and uptake of Nigerians and Egyptians towards breast self-examination (BSE) and breast and cervical cancer screening.

          Results: A community-based cross-sectional questionnaire was utilized in both countries to obtain 1,006 respondents via a convenient sampling method. The mean age of study participants was 30.43 6.69. About one-third of participants had a good knowledge (> 66 %) of breast cancer screening (423, 42 %), cervical cancer screening (446, 44 %) and BSE practice (363, 36 %). Age range (26 40 years), educational level (tertiary) and marital status were demographic data that influenced knowledge level. Though with a fairly satisfactory knowledge level, the screening uptake among studied population is very poor as only (111, 11 %) had ever been screened and only (22, 2.2 %) ever vaccinated. The major reasons for poor screening uptake were no awareness of where to be screened and no symptoms.

          Conclusions: Assessing the knowledge and uptake level of African women through studies like this is crucial in identifying the loopholes in the fight against cancer in Africa. More efforts are required in promoting utilization of cancer screening services, HPV vaccination and BSE practice among African women. The media and internet should be leveraged on as they are the major sources of information about cancer among the respondents.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          AfricArXiv Preprints
          ScienceOpen
          27 November 2020
          Affiliations
          [1 ] College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
          [2 ] Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Egypt
          [3 ] Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan
          [4 ] Mansoura Health Insurance Organization, Egypt
          [5 ] University of Calcutta, India
          [6 ] Dibrugarh University, India
          Article
          10.14293/111.000/000013.v1

          This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

          Funding
          Not applicable Not applicable

          The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

          Education, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Public health

          cancer, breast cancer screening, early detection, breast self-examination, African women, cervical cancer screening

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