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Breast Cancer: Literature Review


Breast cancer is the single most common type of cancer among women. This type of cancer can be detected by such simple methods as (BSE) breast self-examination. When breast cancer is discovered at an early stage, it becomes easier to treat (American Cancer Society 2011). The research paper takes the form of a literature review on breast cancer.

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Summary of the article

The article under review is titled, ‘Knowledge and Practice of Breast Self-Examination among Female’ and it has been authored by Balogun (2005). The article is a systematic review that discusses the “knowledge and practice of breast self-examination among female traders in Ibadan, Nigeria” (Balogun, 2005). It explains how and why breast cancer has been so prevalent in the contemporary Nigerian Society. This society is just a representation of the larger African society and the world as a whole. According to Balogun (2005), breast cancer causes 376,000 deaths among women worldwide, on an annual basis. In addition, Balgun (2005) reports that every year, over 90,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. The paper cites breast self-examination as one of the most important ways in which breast cancer can be screened (Balogun 2005).

The study took place at the Sango market in Ibadan, Nigeria. The survey was cross sectional in design and descriptive in nature. It included the collection of information on the working conditions of these women. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the study’s respondents. The social demographic characteristics of the study indicated that a total of 281 respondents were interviewed. The results also indicate that 68.3 percent of the women interviewed were not aware of breast self-examination. Only 31.7 percent of the respondents claimed that they were aware of breast self examination while a further 18.1 percent reported that they had never undergone a breast self-examination test.

Self examination of breasts helps to detect breast tumors early enough and this helps to reduce cases of morbidity and mortality among women (Komen, n. d.). The level of education of the traders who took part in the study was also a major factor because it was an indicator of their level of awareness (Balogun 2005).

Strength of the study

Research findings of the current study have found use in the making of viable and helpful recommendations regarding the issue of breast cancer and the vulnerable groups and specifically, women. The results can also be used to make suggestions concerning the health education of women in relation to breast self-examination. This is the greatest strength of this study. The review provides a summary of the data and other information collected by the author.

Advantages of systematic analysis

Systematic reviews have some advantages over other types of reviews. One of the benefits is that this kind of review is that it reduces the amount of workload in terms of the literature available for a person to peruse through. This review also assesses the consistency of data and other information across the literature. It is also important because it expands the scope of generalizing individual studies. The study concludes the number of respondents who were aware of breast self-examination test was unacceptably low in Ibadan. It also notes the importance of the market environment in providing a platform for educating women on the importance of breast self examination in fighting against breast cancer. The author recommends educational programs designed to meet the demands of the women in this area.

List of key words

  • Breast cancer,
  • Breast self-examination,
  • Health education,
  • Formal education, and
  • Level of awareness.

The study is a brief review that compares research that has been documented the literature.

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Reference List

American Cancer Society. (2011). Breast Cancer: Early Detection. Web.

Balogun, M. (2005). Knowledge and Practice of Breast Self-Examination among Female Traders in Ibadan, Nigeria. Annals of Postgraduate Medicine, 3(2).

Komen, S. (n. d.). Breast Self Awareness. Web.

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