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Knowledge and practices on breast cancer detection and associated challenges among women aged 35 years and above in Tanzania: a case in Morogoro Rural District

Authors Ng’ida FD, Kotoroi GL, Mwangi R, Mabelele MM, Kitau J, Mahande MJ

Received 29 December 2018

Accepted for publication 11 March 2019

Published 28 May 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 191—197

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BCTT.S199889

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar


Faraja D Ng’ida,1 Gladness L Kotoroi,2 Rose Mwangi,3 Mabula M Mabelele,1 Jovin Kitau,4 Michael J Mahande5,6

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi, Tanzania; 2Department of Reader Service, Mzumbe University, Morogoro, Tanzania; 3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University, Moshi, Tanzania; 4Department of Parasitology, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi, Tanzania; 5Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi, Tanzania; 6Department of Community Health, Institute of Public Health, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania

Background: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women globally including Tanzania. However, timely access to diagnosis remains a challenge due to lack of specialized facilities. Most patients presents with advanced stages of the disease making management impossible. This leads to an increase in breast cancer-related mortality. Little is known about knowledge and practices on breast cancer screening in Tanzania. This study described knowledge and practices on breast-cancer detection and associated challenges among women aged 35 years and above in Morogoro rural District in Tanzania.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Lubungo, Newland and Fulwe villages at Mikese ward in Morogoro rural District from June and July 2017. A standardized questionnaire was used to obtain information from 130 study participants regarding breast cancer knowledge and practices. Data were analyzed using (SPSS) software version 23 and descriptive statistics were summarized in frequencies and percentages.
Results: One hundred and thirty women were studied, all participants have heard of breast cancer; 71.5% knew the effects of breast cancer; 37.7% knew about the signs and symptoms. The most frequently reported cause and risk factor of breast cancer were putting money under brassiere (30.8%) and fat diet (17.7%) respectively. The participants (73.8%) have never heard of breast self-examination (BSE) as an early detection method of breast cancer hence do not practice it. Lack of knowledge on early signs and symptoms of breast cancer was reported as the main challenge for breast cancer screening (73.8%). The frequently reported source of information about this disease was television/radio programs (83.1%).
Conclusion: Most of the women have heard of breast cancer but they lack adequate knowledge on its risk factors, causes, symptoms and effects. The majority of the women do not practice BSE due to lack of knowledge. Efforts to improve women’s knowledge on breast cancer is warranted.

Keywords: breast cancer detection, knowledge, practices, Tanzania

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