Main Article Content
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in both high-income and low-middle-income regions of the world. In low-income countries, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Empirical literature indicates that women with breast cancer in Nigeria present with advanced stages of the breast cancer thereby compromising the survival rate of the illness. The purpose of this paper is to present the outcome of a research study that explored the health-seeking behaviors of women with advanced breast cancer in Southwestern Nigeria, from the time they first noticed a breast abnormality till the time they presented for care in the hospital, from the participants’ perspectives. The study participants were 30 women presenting with advanced stages of breast cancer in Southwestern Nigeria. The study was a qualitative study. The research methodological approach adopted for the study was Interpretive Description.Data were collected in two phases. Phase one consisted of participants filling a personal demographic information form; the second phase consisted of the conduct of audio-recorded one-on-one, semi-structured interviews by the researcher. Data analysis was inductive. All the participants were aware of their rights as study participants before the commencement of the study. Many participants did not interpret their breast changes as breast cancer, and they engaged in self-care until their symptoms had worsened. Some women engaged in seeking information about their breast changes from their families, internet, and social networks. Thematic analysis of the interview data revealed the women’s health-seeking behaviors to include engaging in self-care, seeking divine intervention, and seeking evidence-based knowledge and care. The findings from this study suggest the need for a comprehensive community-based educational intervention to address the etiology, misconceptions, signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and the actions to take when breast changes are observed.