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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-59

Low awareness about breast self-examination and risk factors of breast cancer in Benghazi, Libya


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya
2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. FatmaYousuf M Ziuo
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi
Libya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_16_17

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Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Objectives: The study aimed to ascertain the level of awareness about the breast self-examination (BSE) and early detection of breast cancer and risks of breast cancer in the women of Benghazi, the second capital city of Libya. Subjects and Methods: A community-based survey was carried out in Benghazi to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of women at Benghazi about BSE and risk and protective factors of breast cancer. Cluster sampling technique was used. 30 clusters were selected during the year 2013. Results: Three thousand women were targeted; 2601 women were interviewed. Their mean age was 36.4 ± 10.9 years; more than half of them were married. The respondents' knowledge about BSE was poor with less than half of them (48.1%) having ever heard about BSE. Less than one-fifth of them (16.9%) knew what is BSE and less than one-quarter (25.7%) had satisfactory knowledge about the recommended frequency of BSE. About 39.0% of the respondents knew how to perform BSE, less than one-quarter of them (22.5%) knew when to start it. However, about three quarters (74.4%) of women considered BSE practice very important based on information from television programs as their source of knowledge (23.8). Less than half (43%) thought that high-fat diet and 42% stated that that physical inactivity are recognized risk factors for developing breast cancer. Conclusions: There is a poor knowledge about BSE and about risk and protective factors of breast cancer even among educated women in Benghazi. Primary prevention and early detection awareness should be the first step for prevention of breast cancer in Benghazi, Libya.


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