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AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGNS ON BREAST CANCER AMONG WOMEN  IN ASABA, DELTA STATE.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The issue of breast cancer among women cannot be over-emphasized nor can it be overstated in the world today. Particularly, there are reports that breast cancer is the major cause of death among women globally (Schliemann, Htay, Dahlui, Paramasivam, Christopher, Cardwell, Tamin, Somasundaram, Donnelly, Su, and Donnelly, 2020). Okeke (2018) in his work adds that the menace of breast cancer has killed several women. This high mortality or death rate can be traced to a number of critical factors; to mention a few; late or delayed detection, lack of awareness, denial, bad understanding and perception of cancer/disease, emotional stress etc. There is also ample evidence to suggest that breast cancer has affected a large population of women domiciled in Asaba Delta State, Nigeria. Notwithstanding, early detection of this disease could save a live (Okeke, 2018). This author further adds that reduced physical activity, obesity, alcohol consumption, family background or history smoking etc are associated risk factors of the breast cancer disease.

Accordingly, education and awareness on this issue of breast cancer has been proffered as a credible solution in effectively and efficiently tackling the menace of breast cancer among women (Désirée et al., 2020). Okeke (2018) contends that seeking for medical help on time as is applicable in developed or advanced countries can save the life of a breast cancer patient. Interestingly, available mass media campaigns have been identified as a very good medium in addressing this global issue of breast cancer in women (Onyenegechaa, Hikmet, and Ertan, 2021). These mass media campaigns have the advantage of enlightening, educating and creating an awareness with regards to the negative impact of breast cancer and also early detection. Nelson, and Salawu, (2016) argue that media can be very instrumental for communications in health interventions especially as it relates to breast cancer.

This research study thus makes an attempt to critically evaluate and extensively discuss the impact and effect of mass media campaigns on breast cancer among women in Asaba, Delta State.

1.2       STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

The absence of an effective mass media system with regards to creating awareness on breast cancer in other climes and states (for example, Enugu State) in Nigeria has only worsened the damaging effect of breast cancer on women. It is instructive to note that the apparent problem of this research study is the ignorance and absence of available information on the issue of breast cancer. Most women in Asaba, Delta State do not know about breast cancer, how it affects their lives, how to detect this terminal disease as its early stages and how to address the problem or even go about it (Okeke, 2018). The high number of illiterate women and girls in that part of Nigeria does not also help. In addition, the media has done an awful job enlightening women and girls domiciled in Asaba, Delta State on the prevalence of breast cancer. Abject poverty as well as the unavailability of requisite infrastructures and medical facilities for the treatment of breast cancer is also another problem that cannot be over looked (Okeke, 2018).

1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The aims and objectives of this research study are as follows:

1.        To identify the prevalence of breast cancer of women in Asaba, Delta State.

2.        To evaluate the effectiveness of the mass media in increasing awareness on breast cancer among women in Asaba, Delta State

3.        To identify the factors that can help to increase existing level of knowledge on breast cancer on women in Asaba, Delta State

4.        To highlight strategies for an effective of mass media campaign vis-a-vis breast cancer among women.

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.         What is the prevalence of breast cancer among women in Asaba, Delta State?

2.         How effective is the mass media in increasing awareness on breast cancer               among women in Asaba, Delta State?

3.         What are the factors that can help to increase existing level of knowledge on          breast cancer on women in Asaba, Delta State?

4.         What are the strategies for an effective mass media campaign on     breast cancer among women?

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research study has both academic and societal significance. This research work would attempt to develop an existing body of knowledge and research on breast cancer and how mass media can be very instrumental and helpful in ensuring early detection of the menace as well as general awareness on the subject matter. There is no gain saying that early detection of breast cancer can save a life in time.

Accordingly, this research work would be of unimaginable academic value to scholars health workers, medical practitioners etc. Finally, this research work would also serve as a wake up call to mass media campaigns in Nigeria in advancing aggressive enlightenment programs in a bid to reduce the ignorance and absence of knowledge on the fatal nature of  breast cancer among women in Asaba, Delta State.

1.6       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The primary scope of this research work is confined to the women and girls within the jurisdiction of Asaba – Delta State of Nigeria. More particularly, the scope of this research work seeks to highlight the knowledge gap and deficiency of women and girls in Asaba – Delta State with regards to the issue of breast cancer and how it affects their lives and daily activities.

1.7       LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The major limitation of this research study is the women and girls in Asaba, Delta State. The high level of illiteracy and ignorance in that region is one of the primary limitation of the study. In addition, the lackadaisical and lack-lustre attitude of  mass media campaigns as well as health and medical professionals is another factor that created concern fr the researcher. Lastly,

1.8       OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONAL TERMS

I.         Awareness – This refers to the level of knowledge, information or data on a                particular thing or subject matter.

II.      Breast Cancer– This is a type of the cancer disease that generally affects women        and starts with the breast.if not properly treated, it could lead to death.

Mass Media Campaigns – This refers to a sequential series or organization of        television programs or interviews, newspaper publications and articles, and social          media platform geared towards achieving a pre-determined set goal or objective.

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