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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112-120

Breast cancer screening program: Findings from a population-based study in South Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
2 Department of Opthalmology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
3 Department of Anaesthesia, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
4 Department of Radiology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
5 Hospitals Management Board, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health, Nigeria
6 Renewed Fertility Clinic, Uyo, Nigeria
7 Department of Surgery, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
8 Nigerian Prisons, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
9 Ministry of Power and Economic Development, Akwa Ibom State Branch, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christie Divine Akwaowo
Department of Community Medicine, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmwa.jmwa_14_21

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BACKGROUND : Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in both developed and developing countries, affecting about 2 million women and causing 6.6% of all cancer deaths each year. Although developed countries have higher rates of breast cancer, the availability of structured screening programmes enables early detection and thus prevention of morbidity and mortality. AIMS : This article presents the findings of a 10-year population-based breast cancer screening programme by a member state of the Medical Women's Association of Nigeria (MWAN). METHODS : A retrospective exploration of the database of MWAN Akwa Ibom state was carried out for 10 years of 2008–2017. RESULTS : A total of 2203 women were screened for breast cancer between 2008 and 2017. Majority were 31–40 years (36.9%) and married (56.8%). Only 27% did monthly self-breast examinations. On clinical breast examination (CBE), breast lump was found in 166 (7.5%) of the respondents, with the most common location being the left outer upper quadrant. An enlarged lymph node was seen in only 1% of the population. Clients aged 20 years or less (24.5%) and those living with a partner (16.1%) formed a significantly higher proportion of those with a breast lump. Respondents who had never breast fed had a significantly higher percentage of breast lumps compared to those who had (10.1%). CONCLUSION : This study found that breast lumps were more common in the younger population and those living with partners. Non-breastfeeding was seen to be associated with an increased risk of developing breast lumps. Routine monthly breast self-examination, regular clinical breast examination and follow-up of individuals with breast lesions are recommended to facilitate early detection of breast cancer in our resource-poor setting. We also recommend reduced age of screening for breast lumps and CBE for younger women.

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