Running Head: BREAST SELF-EXAMINATION
Nursing student perceptions and incidence of performing breast self-examinations related to educational level in a baccalaureate nursing program
Caitlin Van Brunt
Nursing of Department
The University of Scranton
Cancer is one of the most pervasive diseases in the world today. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, second to skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (2008), it is estimated that 182, 460 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the year 2008. However, the incidence of breast cancer is decreasing which may be attributed to earlier ...view middle of the document...
For example, the Kokta Piolet Project results support that BSE improved early detection and decreased mortality rates, however, the Russian studies have shown that there has been no evidence of BSE and mortality reduction rates (Dicle, 2007, p. 481.) Even still, the American Cancer Society (2008) still urges young women in their 20’s to seek out information about BSE (ACS, 2008.) Since, nursing students are future registered nurses at the forefront of BSE education, their knowledge of breast cancer and BSE is essential for patient education. If BSE is considered unimportant to the nursing curriculum or not properly taught to nursing students then educating the public about breast cancer and BSE will not be a priority among student nurses.
A research article about perceptions of breast cancer among college students reported that there was no significant difference between associate degree nursing students and baccalaureate degree non-nursing majors’ knowledge of breast cancer (Canales, Finnie, Powe, Underwood, 2005). The researchers surveyed sixty-seven female nursing students in an associate degree program and ninety-two female psychology or sociology majors in a baccalaureate program. The mean age for the nursing students was 26 and the mean age for the non-nursing students was 23. This study used a survey called the Breast Cancer Perceptions and Knowledge Survey. A 12 item subscale was adapted by changing the response format to yes (agree) or no (disagree) (Canales et al., 2005).” One a 0-12 scale, 1 point for each correct answer, the mean breast cancer knowledge score for nursing students was 7 and 8 for the non nursing students.
The common statements that were misperceptions about breast cancer that both groups got wrong included “Lumps in the breast that are cancer are usually painful,” 22% of nursing students agreed, 20% of non-nursing students agreed. “Changes found in the breast during BSE are usually cancer,” 15% of nursing students agreed and 8% of non-nursing students agreed. “One of the best ways to find cancer early is by BSE,” 100% of nursing students agreed and 99% of non-nursing students agreed. “Doctors and nurses are the only ones who could find a lump in the breast,” 97% of nursing students agreed and 99 % of non-nursing students agreed. All of the above statements the correct response should have been disagree. In the statement “A woman who eats foods high in fat and very few fruits and vegetables may be more likely to get breast cancer” the correct response is agree but only 45% of nursing students agreed and 37% of non-nursing students agreed.
The researchers suggest that there is no universal standard of breast cancer education among nursing students which may contribute to many nurses’ lack of knowledge of breast cancer because “few nursing students reported obtaining information on common perceptions about cancer from their coursework (Canales, et al., 2005).” Additional research among BSN students may...