Barriers to early presentation and diagnosis of breast cancer among African women living in sub-Saharan AfricaReportar como inadecuado

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Breast cancer BC has been described as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women especially in the developing world including sub Saharan Africa SSA. Delayed presentation and late diagnosis at health facilities are parts of the contributing factors of high BC mortality in Africa. This review aimed to appraise the contributing factors to delayed breast cancer presentation and diagnosis among SSA women.


Five databases encompassing medical and social sciences were systematically searched using predefined search terms linked with breast cancer presentation and diagnosis and sub Saharan Africa. Reference lists of relevant papers were also hand searched. Quality of quantitative and qualitative articles were assessed using the National Institute of Health NIH Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme CASP quality appraisal checklist. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize the qualitative studies to integrate findings.


Fourteen 14 quantitative studies, two 2 qualitative studies and one 1 mixed method study merited inclusion for analysis. This review identified low knowledge of breast cancer among SSA women. This review also found lack of awareness of early detection treatment, poor perception of BC, socio-cultural factors such as belief, traditions and fear as factors impacting African women’s health seeking behavior in relation to breast cancer.


Improving African women’s knowledge and understanding will improve behaviors related to breast cancer and facilitate early presentation and detection and enhance proper management and treatment of breast cancer.

Autor: Cynthia Pomaa Akuoko, Ernestina Armah, Theresa Sarpong, Dan Yedu Quansah, Isaac Amankwaa, Daniel Boateng



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