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Breast cancer awareness and breast self-examination among future female university graduates: comparison between medical and non-medical students

Elsadig Yousif Mohamed, Waqas Sami, Abdullah Atallah Alenezi, Abdulrahman Mubarak Almutairi, Ahmad Khalid Alsalboud, Khalid Mohammad Alhusainy, Mohammad Awadh Almutairi, Syed Meraj Ahmed, Khalid Altohami Medani, Mohammed Abdullah Al Mansour, Mansour Khatir Alzahrani, Talal Shakhs Algamdi, Fahad Bin Mohamed Alfhaid, Tahir Ansari.

Abstract
Background: Breast cancer is a common health problem among females in Saudi Arabia. The disease account for 27% of all female malignancies representing 25.1% of all newly diagnosed female cancers. The objectives of the current study were to assess the level of carcinoma breast awareness of female university students, Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia and to compare the level of awareness, breast self-examination and breast cancer screening between medical and non-medical students.
Methods: The current study was a cross-sectional, conducted among female students in Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia. The stratified and the systematic sampling were employed to select the colleges and the students respectively. The sample size was calculated as 325. Data was collected by a pre tested questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS.
Results: The university students who acquired good knowledge were 111 (34.2%). Students who acquired average and poor knowledge were 42.2% and 23.6% respectively. Medical students who had good knowledge were 37.6% compared to 26.9% of non-medical students. The results showed that 94 (28.9%) of the participants practice breast self-examination and 25 (7.6%) performed a screening test.
Conclusions: The study concluded that Majmaah University students’ awareness of carcinoma breast is low. There is no significant difference in the level of awareness between students of medical colleges and those of non-medical colleges. The level of practicing breast self-examination and performing screening test for carcinoma breast among female university students is low. There is a significant difference in performing carcinoma breast screening test between medical and non-medical students.

Key words: Breast cancer, Awareness, Breast self-examination, Screening test



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