Evaluation of breast cancer awareness among female university students in Duhok public universities, Iraq


  • Edi S. Kachal
  • Hamid S. Kachel Department of General Science, College of Basic Education, University of Zakho, Zakho, Iraq.
  • Madlen S. Ahmed Department of General Science, College of Basic Education, University of Zakho, Zakho, Iraq.
  • Hawazin N. Elias Department of General Science, College of Basic Education, University of Zakho, Zakho, Iraq.
  • Wmdta Walpola Department of Radiography/Radiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • Bimali S. Weerakoon Department of Radiography/Radiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.




Breast Cancer, Awareness, Female University Students, Duhok


Background and objective: Early diagnosis and proper awareness of Breast Cancer conditions may aid in reducing the morbidity and mortality rate among women. The main goal of this study was to determine the awareness and knowledge levels of women undergraduate students at three public universities in Duhok province (Duhok, Zakho, and Polytechnic) on Breast Cancer, as well as evaluate their attitudes toward breast self-examination.

Methods: This study was conducted from October to December 2021, and it consisted of a cross-sectional survey. A questionnaire was used to collect data from 904 female students aged 18-30 years. The mean participant age was 22.5 years with SD of 2.0. The percentiles were determined to classify the general level of knowledge, with values below the 25th percentile denoting poor knowledge, between the 25th and 75th percentile denoting a fair level, and above the 75th percentile denoting a good level of knowledge.

Results: In the present study, the majority of participants (96.46%) had a fair knowledge level and awareness regarding breast cancer and breast evaluation practice. About 1.78% of female students had poor or good knowledge of breast cancer and practiced breast self-examination. The findings show that participants within the age group of 21-25 showed the highest overall knowledge (7.66±2). While 64% and 31% of the respondents could not able to identify early signs of breast cancer and are not even aware that a breast self-examination is an important tool in the early detection of breast cancer, respectively.

Conclusion: The respondents' knowledge about breast cancer is fair, but their comprehension of risk factors is poor. In order to increase the awareness of risk factors, counseling programs for women in schools and universities are very important. These programs should focus on breast self-examination and women's reproductive health.


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How to Cite

Kachal, E. ., S. Kachel, H., S. Ahmed, M. ., N. Elias, H., Walpola, W. ., & Weerakoon, B. . (2023). Evaluation of breast cancer awareness among female university students in Duhok public universities, Iraq . Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 27(3), 272–282. https://doi.org/10.15218/zjms.2023.030



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