Exploring the Barriers to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening in Nigeria: A Narrative Review
Dodo, Aisha M.
Women's Health amd Action Research Centre (WHARC)
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Breast and cervical cancers are the most common causes of female cancer-related mortality in Nigeria. Early detection and treatment significantly decreases cancer mortality rates. Various factors influence uptake of cancer screening. Cancer awareness, availability of screening, and treatment facilities alone have not been completely successful in improving cancer health behaviour. This review aims to identify and summarise the barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening uptake in Nigeria. Various databases such as PubMed, Psych Info, Google Scholar and EMBASE were extensively searched for existing literature on factors influencing breast and cervical cancer screening in Nigeria. Studies retrieved explored the major socioeconomic factors affecting women’s knowledge, perception, and attitude. Embarrassment, low perception of cancer risk, and physician gender preference are some of the most common factors that discouraged women from cancer screening. Lack of spouse permission and support; belief that cancer is a death wish, and societal discrimination are the common sociocultural barriers to screening. These factors vary across different regions in Nigeria. Therefore, policy makers should make deliberate effort to develop cancer management strategies that are tailored to the sociocultural and religious needs in a target population. This approach is anticipated to improve uptake and ensure sustainability of cancer management.
African Journal of Reproductive Health;
Dodo, A.M., Sykes, P. and Powell, C. (2016) 'Exploring the Barriers to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening in Nigeria: A Narrative Review', African Journal of Reproductive Health, 20(4), pp. 89-98.
This article was published in African Journal of Reproductive Health in December 2016 - post-print reproduced here with permissions from publisher. DOI linking not yet available.
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