EXPLORING BREAST CANCER SCREENING BEHAVIORS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE FEMALE STUDENTS IN PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MEDICAL AND NON-MEDICAL DISCIPLINES

Authors

  • Salman Zahir Northwest School of Medicine, Peshawar
  • Khansa Khan Northwest School of Medicine, Peshawar
  • Somia Mazhar National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad
  • Mohammad Sajjad Ali Khan Northwest Teaching Hospital, Peshawar
  • Atifa Afridi Northwest School of Medicine, Peshawar
  • Aima Nasir Northwest School of Medicine, Peshawar

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is a growing global health concern, impacting even developing nations like Pakistan. Timely detection is pivotal, relying heavily on awareness campaigns and screening practices.

OBJECTIVES: This study delves into knowledge regarding breast cancer screening techniques and screening practices among undergraduate female students in Peshawar, Pakistan, encompassing both medical and non-medical disciplines.

METHODOLOGY: A comprehensive comparative observational study was conducted between April and July 2023. The research involved 600 students (301 medical, and 299 non-medical) who were surveyed through a self-constructed questionnaire. The data analysis encompassed demographics, breast cancer awareness, screening behaviors, and future intentions, providing a holistic perspective.

RESULTS: Among participants, a noteworthy 96.7% (580) were already acquainted with breast cancer, but only 43.1% (250) had awareness of breast self-examination. Importantly, 46.4% (163) of the 580 participants who had never undergone screening cited a perceived low risk as the primary reason. Encouragingly, 70.7% (410) expressed their intent to commence screening in the future, with 34.3% (206) indicating an initiation age between 16 and 20 years. Information sources primarily included social media, teachers, and maternal guidance.

CONCLUSION: The study accentuates the dire need for improved breast cancer education among female students, emphasizing the paramount importance of early detection. Key recommendations encompass educational initiatives within schools, hands-on self- examination workshops, and promoting consultations with healthcare professionals.

KEYWORDS: Breast Cancer, Screening Practices, Early Detection of Cancer

Published

12/29/2023

How to Cite

Salman Zahir, Khansa Khan, Somia Mazhar, Mohammad Sajjad Ali Khan, Atifa Afridi, & Aima Nasir. (2023). EXPLORING BREAST CANCER SCREENING BEHAVIORS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE FEMALE STUDENTS IN PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MEDICAL AND NON-MEDICAL DISCIPLINES. NORTHWEST JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, 2(4), 18–23. Retrieved from https://njms.pk/index.php/njms/article/view/363