Knowledge, and practice of women on breast cancer in Herat, Afghanistan: A cross-sectional study


  • Fariba Baha Herat Maternity Hospital
  • Goodness Ogeyi Odey University of Calabar
  • Marjan Yousufi Herat University
  • Yasir Ahmed Mohammed Elhadi Alexandria University
  • Adina Rahmani Herat University
  • Elhama Noorzad Herat University
  • Farooq Ahmad Siddiqy Herat Regional Hospital
  • Paolo Miguel Manalang Vicerra Shanghai University
  • Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine



Knowledge, Practice, Awareness, Breast Cancer, Herat-Afghanistan


Background: Breast cancer prevalence is observed to be higher in developed economies, but the mortality rates due to the said disease tend to be similar or even higher among lower-income countries. Afghanistan is among these countries where breast cancer mortality has been predominant among the female population. This may be related late diagnosis and the presentation of the cancer at much later stages.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted using a survey questionnaire administered from June 2021 to July 2021 among women living in Herat province of Afghanistan. It evaluated the participants’ knowledge and practice towards breast cancer. A total of 534 women answered the survey. Data was analyzed using IBM SPSS software.

Results: Lower level of knowledge about breast cancer and the limitations to the practice of breast self-examination (BSE) were found to be associated with such late detection and treatment. Using data collected in Herat Province of Afghanistan, this study examined the individual level sociodemographic factors related with the level of knowledge about breast cancer and also with the practice of BSE. It was found that 44% of the study sample of 534 women had high knowledge level. There were fewer still who performed BSE at about 12% of the respondents. Further examination showed that lower education attainment, albeit illiteracy, and the employment status were correlated with knowledge and practice surrounding breast cancer.

Conclusion: This entails the need to formulate programs targeting the specific needs of women with lower socioeconomic status to build capacity toward their health and wellbeing.

Author Biographies

Fariba Baha, Herat Maternity Hospital

Herat Maternity Hospital, Herat, Afghanistan.

Goodness Ogeyi Odey, University of Calabar

Department of Public health, College of Medicine, University of Calabar,  Calabar,  Nigeria.

Marjan Yousufi, Herat University

Medical Faculty, Herat University, Herat, Afghanistan.

Yasir Ahmed Mohammed Elhadi, Alexandria University

Department of Health Administration and Behavioral Sciences, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.

Adina Rahmani, Herat University

Medical Faculty, Herat University, Herat, Afghanistan.

Elhama Noorzad, Herat University

Medical Faculty, Herat University, Herat, Afghanistan.

Farooq Ahmad Siddiqy, Herat Regional Hospital

Cancer Control Program, Herat Regional Hospital, Herat, Afghanistan.

Paolo Miguel Manalang Vicerra, Shanghai University

Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University, China.

Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


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How to Cite

Baha, F., Odey, G. O., Yousufi, M., Elhadi, Y. A. M., Rahmani, A., Noorzad, E., Siddiqy, F. A., Vicerra, P. M. M., & Lucero-Prisno III, D. E. (2023). Knowledge, and practice of women on breast cancer in Herat, Afghanistan: A cross-sectional study. Razi International Medical Journal, 3(1), 19–26.