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Research - Abstract

  Cite this article:

Martha Nyanungo Sambanje, Benford Mafuvadze. Breast cancer knowledge and awareness among university students in Angola.
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2012;11:70

Key words: Breast cancer, knowledge, university students, self-examination, Angola

Permanent link: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/11/70/full

Received: 27/01/2012 - Accepted: 23/02/2012 - Published: 16/04/2012

© Martha Nyanungo Sambanje et al.   The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Breast cancer knowledge and awareness among university students in Angola


Martha Nyanungo Sambanje1,&, Benford Mafuvadze2


1Faculdade de CiÍncias da Saķde, Universidade Metodista de Angola, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, United States of America



&Corresponding author
Martha Nyanungo Sambanje Universidade Metodista de Angola, Faculdade de CiÍncias da Saķde Rua Nossa Senhora da Muxima, N0 10 Caixa Postal 6739 Luanda, Angola




The high breast cancer mortality rate in Sub-Saharan Africa has been attributed to a lack of public awareness of the disease which often leads to late diagnosis of the disease. Little is known about the level of knowledge and awareness of breast cancer in Angola. Previous studies have shown that breast cancer awareness is higher among well-educated people. The goal of this study was to assess breast cancer knowledge and awareness among university students in Angola.




We conducted a cross-sectional survey of university students using a self-administered questionnaire to investigate participantsí awareness and knowledge of breast cancer. A total of 595 university students in medical and non-medical programs successfully completed the survey.




Our results showed insufficient knowledge of breast cancer among university students in Angola irrespective of whether they were in medical or non-medical programs. The majority of the participants were not aware of some of the early signs of breast cancer such as change in color or shape of the nipple, even though they appreciated the need for monthly breast self-examination. Overall most of the participants indicated the need for increased breast cancer awareness among university students.




The study points to the insufficient knowledge of university students in Angola about breast cancer. We expect that our results may provide useful data that may be used by the department of health in Angola and other African countries to formulate health education programs aimed at increasing awareness and promote screening and early detection of breast cancer in the continent.