Awareness Regarding Epidemiology, Early Warning Signs, Screening and Risk Factors of Breast Cancer among Female Students of University of AJ&K
The present study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge regarding various aspects of breast cancer among the students of AJK university of Muzaffarabad. A structured, self-administered and pre-validated questionnaire was used to collect the data. Each questionnaire was scored for every question except the demographic variables. Questionnaire scoring >10 were considered aware. Three hundred females enrolled in different degree programs were selected voluntarily. Analysis of results has revealed that a substantial percentage of the students are unaware (67%) while only (33%) females were found to be aware regarding breast cancer. A large number of the respondents are aware that breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Pakistan. About 9% of the respondents had reported a family history depicting a considerable prevalence of breast cancer. Pain or soreness in breast and lump in breast was the most commonly perceived risk factor among the respondents. Only 35.3% of the respondents are familiar with the term Self Breast Exam, a method that ensures early detection. Menarche was found to be the most perceived risk factor as reported by 57.7% of the respondents. Younger students were more aware of the breast cancer while older females were unaware regarding the cancer. Inclusively, an inadequate and insufficient awareness was observed among the respondents that emphasizes the dire need of launching massive awareness campaigns.