Knowledge of Students Toward Breast Cancer and Breast Self-Examination Practice at High School Nursing in Basra City


  • Samira Muhammed Ebrahim University of Basra



Nursing students, knowledge, practices, breast cancer, breast self-examination


Background: Breast cancer is a life threatening disease that can affect women's sense of self-esteem, her sexuality. Globally, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Breast self-examination (BSE) makes women more "breast aware", which in turn may lead to an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer.

Objectives: The study aims to assess the knowledge of students at the high nursing school about the risk factors and early symptoms for breast cancer. To identify the students' knowledge about Breast Self- Examination. And to assess the practice of students for BSE.

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study, conducted at the high school of nursing in Basra city during December 2012. The study sample included 210 students. Self-administered questionnaire was used to gather information about socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of students about risk factors and symptoms of breast cancer, breast self-examination knowledge, and BSE practice.

Results: More than half of the students had were a poor knowledge about breast cancer risk factors and presentations, only (15.7%) had a good knowledge. It was reported (79.5%) of them she know that the exposure to radiation is a main risk factor. While (76.7%) of the sample agree that family history one of the reasons for breast cancer. In addition (67.6 %) of the sample did not agree that breast cancer can happen with women who never breastfed a child. High school of nursing students had insufficient knowledge about breast self-examination and the main source of information was the media as reported by (36.3%) of the students, (32.9%) of the students mentioned that breast self-examination should be practiced monthly, (55.2%) of them knew the right way to carry out breast self-examination. Regarding BSE practice (14.8%) of students reported that they had performed breast self-examination monthly. The most common reason for not doing breast self- examination was (not knowing how to perform it) as reported by (31.4%) of the participants followed by having no symptoms (29.9%). There was a significant relation between breast self-examination practice and knowledge about breast cancer and knowledge about breast self- examination.

Conclusions: Nursing students have poor knowledge of breast cancer and its associated risk factors. Students were not also so familiar with practicing BSE.

Recommendations: 1- Construct course teaching and practical program for the students in course curriculum to increase their knowledge about breast cancer, and BSE.

2- Schedule visiting to BSE center for the students and their teachers to increase their knowledge and skills in examination of the breast and to encourage them for practicing BSE



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How to Cite

Ebrahim, S. M. (2014). Knowledge of Students Toward Breast Cancer and Breast Self-Examination Practice at High School Nursing in Basra City. Kufa Journal for Nursing Sciences, 4(1), 45–53.

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