Contents: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women of both developed and less developed world. Breast cancer is a common malignancy among Saudi females, with a prevalence of 21.8%. Awareness of risk factors and practice of breast self-examination still has a significant role in the early detection effort of breast cancer, particularly in young women.
Aim: of this study is to explore the awareness of breast cancer risk factors and the reported practice of breast self-examination among nursing students in the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences -College of Nursing (CON-R), Kingdome of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional correlational design was utilized in this study on a convenience sample of 373 nursing students in King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, College of Nursing (CON-R). The study used two tools. The first tool is a structured interview questionnaire designed by the researcher to collect data about the students' characteristics and to assess the student nurses' awareness of breast cancer risk factors. The second tool is a breast self-examination practice form that is designed to assess the student nurses' reported practice of breast self-examination.
Results: The results of the present study show that 60.6% of the nursing students' age was between 20-24 years; 18.2 % of them had a positive family history of breast cancer. The nursing student higher awareness was revealed for risk factors of female gender (4.5±0.7), age more than 40 (4.3±0.8), positive family history (4.2±0.8), breast disease (4.1±0.8). Average awareness was revealed for risk factors of late menopause (2.8±1.8), and physical inactivity (3.0±1.1). 63.5% of students did not practice breast self-examination; among the remaining only 25.5% practicing monthly, only 5% was regularly practicing, while 31.1% of them did not practice regularly.
Conclusion: The nursing students reveal a good awareness of most of the breast cancer risk factors. Despite a good awareness level, they reported that about two-thirds of students did not practice breast self-examination. The study recommended the conduction of awareness campaigns in all university campuses who are encompassing female students to enhance their awareness of breast cancer risk factors and promote their practice of breast self-examination.
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