Knowledge, attitude and practices towards breast cancer and its prevention among females in some selected senior high schools within the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana

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Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women throughout the world and also a public health concern. However, comparing with Western women, it presents rather early in women of Asian race. Family history of breast cancer, exposure to radiation, age, late menopause Early menarche, are well-known risk factors for the development of breast cancer in women. Detecting the disease early through preventive methods such as breast selfexamination (BSE) and breast cancer screening programs can lead to a reduction in the mortality rates due to breast cancer. The study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices towards breast cancer and early detection measures among female students in some selected senior high schools within the Kumasi Metropolis. A cross-sectional study was conducted among female senior high school students within the Kumasi Metropolis. The tool used for data collection was a structured self-administered questionnaire and data was analyzed using STATA v 14 using a self-administered questionnaire. The study was conducted from May 2019 to August 2019. A total of three hundred and five students participated in the study with the age range from 16-21years (mean age =16.9). A greater percentage of the respondents 302 (99.0%) had general knowledge about breast cancer. The majority of the students 71.8% and 79.5% knew about clinical Examination and Breast selfexamination respectively but only 38.7% ever practiced any of the early detection methods. Family history and knowing one can be screened for breast cancer were significantly associated (p-value=0.33 and 0.13) with the practice of the early detection methods according to the regression and bivariate results. Respondents also had a positive attitude towards breast cancer and early detection methods. In conclusion, there is an inadequate practice of the early detection methods among the respondents even though, most of them knew about breast cancer early detection methods. From the findings of the study, Ghana Education Service need to provide continuous educational programs to strengthen the knowledge level on breast cancer and its early detection methods which in turn will have a positive effect on students to motivate them to engage in cost-effective early detection methods.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Disability Studies, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Award of Degree of Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education.
Knowledge, attitude, Breast cancer, Practices, Senior High Schools, Among females