Awareness of Breast Cancer among Female Students and Faculty from Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia.

2 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Majmaah, Saudi Arabia.

3 Department of Surgery, King Khalid Hospital, Najran, Saudi Arabia.

4 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia.

5 College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

6 College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, United States.

Abstract

Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the leading malignancy among women in Najran, Saudi Arabia. However, not much is known about the public’s awareness of BC. This study explored the general knowledge, early warning signs, risk factors and sources of information about BC. Methods: An online-based, anonymous, self-rating, cross-sectional and survey-based study was conducted from March-2019 to April-2019. Three-hundred female students and/or faculty from College of Medicine, Najran University (Najran, Saudi Arabia) participated in the study. Results: A total of 232 students (77.3%) and 68 faculty (22.7%) responded to the survey. Our study showed that nulliparity (83.8%) and early menarche before 12 years of age (29.7%) were the most pertinent obstetric risk factors of BC. Conversely, lack of physical activity (66.3%) and family history of BC (18%) were the most substantial non-obstetric risk factors of BC. According to pre-defined criteria, while the surveyed research subjects demonstrated ‘good’ general knowledge about BC (75.3%), they unfavorably exhibited ‘poor’ knowledge about the warning signs of BC (94.3%). The predictors of ‘good’ overall knowledge (general knowledge plus signs knowledge about BC) included age, marital status, educational level and family history (all p<0.05, two-tailed Chi-square test). Apart from the campaigns’ educational materials (43%), the top source of knowledge about BC was internet (33%), whereas the lowest ones were healthcare professionals (11.3%) and training workshops (7.3%). Conclusions: The surveyed research subjects harbored risk factors of BC and demonstrated ‘poor’ knowledge about the warning early signs of BC. We call for rigorous and well-crafted educational campaigns geared toward improving the awareness level of BC among women in Najran province.

Keywords

Main Subjects