Communicating Breast Cancer in Rural Igbo Community of Southeast Nigeria

© Media Watch 10 (1) 133-144, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i1/49570

Communicating Breast Cancer in Rural Igbo Community of Southeast Nigeria

University of Nigeria, (Nsukka), Nigeria

This study examined the communication avenues for combating breast cancer in Orba, a rural community of Enugu State, Nigeria. To accomplish this goal, 200 women from the community were sampled. The results revealed that 87% of the respondents were aware of media messages on breast cancer; however, 74.5% and 65% respectively, claimed that they had no knowledge of its early indication and prevention. A major highlight of the study is that radio (69.5%) and religious association meetings (60%) are the preferred channels of communication for breast cancer campaigns. The findings, therefore, suggest that the campaigns against breast should be projected through both channels of African traditional communication and mass media. in the campaign cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer, campaign, communication, mass media, traditional communication


Afolayan, A., Olaoye, O., Adesina, M., & Saidu, R. (2012). Breast cancer trends in a Nigerian population: an Analysis of cancer registry data. International journal of life science and pharma research, 2(3) 29-34.
Bhatia, T. (2000). Advertising in rural India: language marketing communication and consumerism. Japan: Institute for the study of culture of Asia and Africa.
Cofie, P.,De Allegri, M., Kouyaté, B. &Sauerborn, R. (2013). Effects of information, education, and communication campaign on a community-based health insurance scheme in Burkina Faso in Global Health Action. PubMedCentral Retrieved from › NCBI ›
Ekeanyanwu, N. T. (2007). The Nigerian press coverage of political conflicts in a pluralisticsociety. Global Media Journal African Edition, Vol. 1. Retrieved from
Fadl Adam, I., Nakamura, K., Kizuki, M., Al Rifai, R.&Vanching, U. (2015). Relationship between implementing interpersonal communication and mass education campaigns in emergency settings and use of reproductive healthcare services: evidence from Darfur, Sudan. Retrieved from
Glanz, K. (2011). Behavioural & Social Sciences Research. Retrieved from http://www.utwente.nil.
Gupta, A., Shridhar, K. & Dhillon, P. (2015). A review of breast cancer awareness among women in India: Cancer literate or awareness deficit? European Journal of Cancer. 51(14) September from / pmc / articles /pmc 4571924on 0/08/2016
Kwansah-Aidoo, K. & Mapedzahama, V. (2015). Media Event, Racial Ramblings, or Both? An Analysis of Media Coverage of the Tamworth Council Sudanese Refugees ResettlementCase(2006).SAGEopen. 21600
Mundy, P. & Compton, J. (1991). “Indigenous communication and Indigenous Knowledge”. Development Communication Report, no. 74 1991/3.
Mustapha, L. (2008). Mass media and optimization of health policy, the participating option. In Akinfeleye, R. A. ed. Mass media and society: A multi-perspective approach. Lagos: Department of Mass Communication University of Lagos.
Mvila, G., L., Postema, S., Marchal, G., Limbergen, E. V., Verdonck, F., Matthijs, G., Devriendt, K., Michils, G. & Ongeval, C. V. (2014). From the set-up of a screening program of breast cancer patients to the identification of the first BRCA mutation in the DR Congo. BMC Public Health.
Nigeria Population (2018). Retrieved from>com
Nwuneli, O. (1985). Mass Communication in Nigeria A book of Readings. Enugu, Nigeria: Fourth Dimension publishers.
Obasola, O.and Agunbiade, O. (2016). Online Health Information Seeking Pattern Among Undergraduates in aNigerian University. SAGE Open Journal January-March:1–9 Retrieved from (
Ojobor, I. (2002). Mass Communication Theories. In Okunna, C. S. (Ed), Teaching mass communication: a multi-dimensional approach. Enugu: New Generation Books.
Okorie, Nelson (2013). Mass Media Strategies for Creating Awareness of Breast Cancer.PublicKnowledgeJournal,2(1)… Cancer.pdf
Okpoko, C. (2011). Indigenous communication and the campaign against breast cancer in women in Nigeria. Ikenga 12(1).
Oluwatosin, A. & Oladepo, O. (2006). Knowledge of breast cancer and its early detection measures among rural women in Akinyele Local Government Area, Ibadan, Nigeria. Retrieved from
Onyije, F. M., Waritimi, E. G. & Atoni, A. (2012). Comparative Study on the Knowledge of Breast and Cervical Cancer among Females in Rural and Urban Areas of Niger Delta. J. Life Sci. Biomed. 2(4):120-124. Retrieved from:
Ouyang, Y. &Hu, X. (2014). The Effect of Breast Cancer Health Education on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice: A Community Health Center Catchment Area. Journal of Cancer Education29(2) Retrieved from
Padhy, M. K. (2015). Communication through Advocacy Advertising for Public Health Promotion. Media Watch 6 (1), 92-102. Cited from content/uploads/2016/09/January- 2015.pdf. Accessed on December 15, 2017.
Parker, L., Rychetnik, L. &Carter, S. (2015). The role of communication in breast cancer screening: a qualitative study with Australian experts. BMC Cancer Retrieved from Accessed on December 5, 2016.
Riaz, S. (2008). Agenda setting role of mass media. Global media journal, Volume 1, Issue 11. Retrieved from Accessed on December 5, 2016.
Rodman, G. (2006). Mass Media in a changing world history, Industry and controversy. New York: McGraw HillSalem, R., Bernstein, J., Sullivan, T.and Lande, R. (2008). Communication for Better Health. Population Reports. From Accessed April 30, 2016.
Thackeray, R., Burton, S. H., Giraud-Carrier, C., Rollins, S. &Draper, C. (2013). Using Twitter for breast cancer prevention: an analysis of breast cancer awareness month. BMC Cancer from
Ugboajah, F.O. (1986). Communication as Technology in African Rural Development. In Africa Media Review Vol. 1. No. 1. African Council on Communication Education
Umeano-Enemuoh, J., Uzochukwu, B., Ezumah, N., Mangham-Jefferies, L., Wiseman, V. & Onwujekwe O. (2015). A qualitative study on health workers’ and community members’ perceived sources, role of information and communication on malaria treatment, prevention and control in south east Nigeria. From http://bmcinfectdis. /articles/10.1186/s12879-015-1187-2 on 23/08/2016
Zamawe, C., Banda, M. & Dube, A. (2015). The effect of mass media campaign on Men’s participation in maternal health: a cross-sectional study in Malawi. BMC Repro- ductive Health12 (31) doi: 10.1186/s12978-015- 0020-0 PMCID: PMC4394597
Zamawe, C. O., Banda, M. & Dube, A. N. (2016). The impact of a community driven mass media campaign on the utilisation of maternal health care services in rural Malawi. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. Retrieved from

Chinwe Catherine Okpoko is a senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. She holds a Ph.D in mass communication of the same university, specializing in health communication. Her other favorite area of research is development communication.