Communicating male breast cancer: knowledge and awareness among some South African youth
Keywords:Health communication, Health literacy, Health messages, Health Belief Model, Developmental Health Model, Male breast cancer, Knowledge, Awareness, University students, South Africa
Minimal research exists on the knowledge and awareness of male breast cancer. Although male breast cancer is a relatively uncommon disease, there is an increasing incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, minimal awareness among the public has led to ignorance about symptoms, often resulting in the late diagnosis of the disease. Consequently, praxis pertaining to male breast cancer is informed mostly by research on well-publicised female breast cancer, yet studies show that while the two may have similarities, they are not identical. Theoretically, the Health Belief Model and the Developmental Health Model are applicable to the study. A cross-sectional survey of some university students, using a self-administered questionnaire, was conducted to examine knowledge and awareness of male breast cancer. Results indicate a general lack of knowledge about the disease. The majority of students were of the view that there should be more campaigns about male breast cancer. Such studies are crucial in informing health promotion organisations in the formulation of gender-specific/inclusive campaigns required to create awareness.