Knowledge, Awareness, and Practice of Breast Self-Examination Among An-Najah National University Female Students

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Besan Ahmad
Ekhlas Kokash
Hamzeh Al Zabadi
Moaed Saed
Mohammad Husean
Wala`a Kathem
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Young breast cancer patients have a lower rate of survival than old age. Yet, breast self-examination makes women more "breast aware", which in turn may lead to an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer. We aimed to describe the degree of awareness, knowledge and practice regarding self-breast examination among An-Najah National University female students in Palestine. A descriptive cross-sectional design using a previously standardized and validated questionnaire was conducted. Data was collected from a convenient sample of 180 female students from An-Najah National University. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for data entry and analysis. Nearly, 63.8% of the total sample reported that they have heard about breast self examination and 96.2% reported that breast self examination is important. However, only 36% self-reported they perform the test. The most frequent reported barriers for breast self examination was lack of knowledge. Nearly, 9.2% reported that if they notice a mass in the breast, they don't know what to do. This study pointed to the insufficient knowledge, awareness and practice of university female students about breast self examination. The results should be generalized with caution. However, they provide useful baseline information that could be used to formulate health education and intervention tools aimed at increasing awareness and promote screening of breast cancer among young females at universities level in Palestine.