Practice of antenatal clinical breast examination as a method of early detection of breast cancer by health care providers in a low resource setting
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Onwere, S., Okoro, O., Chigbu, B. et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet (2008) 278: 115. doi:10.1007/s00404-007-0533-z
- 68 Views
Clinical breast examination (CBE) provides an important screening tool for the earlier detection of breast cancer among women in populations such as ours where mammography is not widely available as a screening tool. There is a paucity of data on the level of practice of antenatal CBE by health-care providers at Aba, South Eastern Nigeria.
To determine the level of practice of antenatal CBE by health-care providers as a method of early detection of breast cancer.
A descriptive study involving 100 consecutive and consenting patients at the antenatal clinic of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, South Eastern Nigeria over the period 1 June–15 June 2007 was carried out. Using a structured questionnaire, the respondents’ socio-demographic data were obtained, as well as their knowledge of breast cancer and of what breast cancer examination screens for, and self-reported data on their having ever received CBE during the current antenatal period.
The knowledge of breast cancer was poor. Although 99% of the women had heard of breast cancer, only 34% of them knew what breast examination screened for, whilst only 1 and 2% had received CBE by doctors and nurses, respectively, during the current antenatal period. No breast abnormalities or suspicious nodes were detected during the antenatal CBEs.
The level of practice of routine antenatal CBE by health-care providers is very low in our setting. Health-care providers should perform a thorough breast examination at the first prenatal visit and maintain a high index of suspicion for breast cancer throughout pregnancy.