A Descriptive Study to Assess the Knowledge on Breast Cancer among Female Students in Selected Colleges of Lucknow

 M Suresh, Anchal Yadav

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1. Associate Professor, GSRM College of Nursing, Lucknow 2. Bsc Nursing Intern, GSRM College of Nursing, Lucknow

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10/1/2021 12:00:00 AM

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Globally, breast cancer is one of the most common cancer among females of age group 15-40 years. India is also one of the leading countries of breast cancer. It is found that incidence rate of breast cancer is higher in less developing countries in comparison to development country. In 2018, worldwide, nearly 2 million new breast cancer cases were diagnosed. A 2018 report of Breast Cancer Statics recorded 1,62,468 new registered cases and 87,090 reported deaths.[1] In India, breast cancer cases rising both in rural and urban areas. According to GLOBOCAN 2017, among Indian population, breast cancer cases is highest worldwide.

Due to the increase in the diagnosis of breast cancer in later-stages, rising mortality rates, has attracted the need of concerns for the advocacy programs and education focusing among young women of the society. Breast cancer has also misunderstood and developed the allegory regarding cancer disgrace, among the woman of society. Many researchers have interpreted that, young women have a envision about breast cancer that, it is a disease of older aged women, and they do not comprehend themselves as a risk factor. In modern era, it is necessary to bring the concerns towards the awareness, through advocacy, for improving the health situation of women and also divert the focus on eradication of stigma towards the breast cancer from the society. By providing effective encouragement and aid to women in the society, regarding healthy behavior and execution for betterment of subsistence and positive stance towards themselves, incidences of breast can be controlled in the country.

Early preventative measures, observation, and therapeutics of breast cancer, intensify the life expectancy, after countering the breast carcinoma. Early diagnosis of breast cancer can increase the chance of early case detection and favorable outcomes, resulting in improved survival rates and quality of life of women and is therefore important public health strategy at all settings [2]. However, studies have demonstrated that factors related to women´s awareness, knowledge and perceptions about the disease may contribute significantly to health-seeking behaviours [3], [4],[5]. Several studies suggests that even though the incidence and mortality of breast cancer have been on the increase, the knowledge and awareness regarding the breast cancer is low among college students.

A study to assess the knowledge and belief of female towards breast cancer and its screening practices in   Hyderabad, India revealed that the awareness among women about breast cancer is good but the knowledge and practicing about screening test is poor [6], [7]. Study conducted to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of BSE among females in medical and non-medical colleges in Qassim University showed that both the categories of the students do have a positive level of knowledge regarding BSE, even though they lack at practicing it [8]. The cross-sectional study on breast cancer among young girls in Lahore there is a lack of knowledge and awareness regarding breast cancer and its screening methods is present among young girls [9]. A similar cross-sectional study for evaluation of breast cancer awareness among female university students in Zarqa University, Jordan shows that 88% of them had poor levels of awareness of breast cancer scale, 56% had knowledge about breast cancer symptoms, 90% had knowledge about risk factors of breast cancer and 72% had high and medium attitude towards breast cancer treatments. [10]

Therefore, this study was conducted to assess knowledge and awareness among college students about breast cancers in Lucknow, as they form the important part to the community. This study helps the college students to analyze their understanding and generate awareness regarding breast cancer and also    defiance the fallacy of breast cancer.

Materials & Methods:

Descriptive research design was selected for this study. Target population includes the female students         studying in the selected colleges of Lucknow. 87 female students were selected through non-probability, purposive sampling techniques. Data was gathered using a self-administered semi structured questionnaire. Questionnaire consists of two sections.  Section A consists of demographic variables, which includes age, religion, type of family, family income, marital status, year of study, name of course, previous knowledge on breast cancer and source of information about breast cancer. Section B consists of 25 questions to assess the knowledge regarding Breast Cancer among the participants. Score “1” will be awarded for each correct response and “0” for wrong response in all items. The level of knowledge will be categorized as: inadequate (0- 8), moderately inadequate adequate (9-16), adequate (17-25). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data.


Majority of the participated students 85 (97.7%) were aged between 18 and 22 years of age and 02 (2.3%) students were in between 23 - 27 years of age. 80 (92%) of the students belongs to Hindu religion, 04 (4.6%) of them were Muslim, 02 (2.3%) of them were Christians and 1 (1.1%) belong to Sikh religion. Most of the participants 58 (68.7%) are from nuclear family. Remaining 29 (33.3%) of samples are from Joint family. There are 47(54%) students whose family income is less than Rs. 50,000 per year, 27 (31%) students have family income between Rs.50,000 - Rs.1,00,000 per year, 12 (1.8%) students have family income between Rs.1,00,000 – Rs.5,00,000 per year and 01 (1.1%) student have family income more than Rs. 5,00,000/year. Majority of the participants 83 (95.4%) were unmarried, 03 (3.4%) of them were married and 1 (1.1%) participant is separated. 23(26.4%) of students are from first year under graduate program, 17 (19.5%) are from 2nd year, 21(24.1%) from 3rd year and 26 (29.9 %) of them were studying fourth year. Most of them 84 (96.6%) were pursuing nursing programme and 03 (3.4%) were from arts and science courses. There are 79 (90.8%) students who have heard about Breast Cancer and 08 (9.2%) students have not heard about Breast Cancer.

Table - 1 Level of Knowledge on Breast Cancer Among Female Students

TABLE 1 affirms that, the comprehend level of knowledge of female students concerning Breast Cancer, 04 (4.59%) students had inadequate knowledge, 49 (56.32%) students had moderately inadequate knowledge, 34 (39.08%) had adequate knowledge. The mean value and standard deviation of knowledge score is 15.43 and 4.79 respectively.

Figure - 1 Level of Knowledge on Breast Cancer Among Female Students


Globally breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women. Knowledge and awareness regarding the risk factors, early detection and management among young women plays a significant role in reducing the mortality rates. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and awareness of breast cancer among college students. Overall results of this study show that, 34 (39.08%) female students had adequate knowledge, 49 (56.32%) female students had moderately inadequate knowledge, and 04 (4.59%) female students had inadequate knowledge. Among demographic variables such as family income and year of the study had significant association with knowledge on breast cancer among college students.

This present study is consistent with other similar studies. A descriptive study was conducted to find the association between knowledge score of female students on breast cancer with demographic variables. Findings revealed that there is no significant association exists between some demographic variables like age, religion, type of family, marital status, type of course and previous information breast cancer, and other variables like family income, year of study and source of information, have significant association (p<0.05>). A study was conducted by Arwa Alsaraireh and Muhammad W. Darawad (2017), on breast cancer awareness, attitude and practices among 236 female University students, by using self-reported questionnaires. The data of their study revealed that 45.5% have inadequate knowledge, 56.3% fairly positive attitude and 37.5% low BSE practices. They also concluded that among female students, awareness about breast cancer and BSE is important, and also to conduct educational programs for them [11].

A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the knowledge and practices on breast cancer among Bangladeshi 276 University female students. It revealed that 58.20% participants responded correctly on the risk factors of the breast cancer i.e., exposure to radiation, 47.6% positive.

Table - 2 Association Between Knowledge Score of Female Students with Their Selected            Demographic Variables


Findings of this study revealed that knowledge of breast cancer among female college students inadequate. Only 39.08 % female college student participant’s had adequate knowledge. Most of these students had no or moderate knowledge regarding the prevention, screening, early detection and management of breast cancer. Appropriate interventions are essential from the policy makers and other stake holder to increase the knowledge and awareness of breast cancer among these targeted populations. 

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Kavichelvi K (Chief Editor)
ST.Mary's College of Nursing, Kursi Road, Lucknow, editor@ynj

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SGRRIM&HS College of Nursing, Patel Nagar, Dehradun,

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SGPGIMS College of Nursing, Lucknow,

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Mayo College of Nursing, Barabanki, Lucknow,

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PSG College of Nursing, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

M Suresh (Associate Editor)
GSRM College of Nursing, Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow,

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Shivparvathi Mandradiar Institute of Health Sciences,Triupur District, Tamilnadu,

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St. Mary's Institutions of Nursing, Kempapura, Hebbal, Bangalore,