Socio-cultural and Economic Determinants of Delayed Reporting of Breast Cancer Among Ghanaian Women: A Qualitative Study

  • Merri Iddrisu University of Ghana; Ghana
  • Edward Yalin Theatre Department, Assemblies of God Hospital, Saboba – Tamale, Ghana
  • Lydia Aziato University of Ghana; Ghana
  • Emma Kwegyir-Afful Department of Adult Health, School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Katri Vehvilainen₋Julkunen Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland
Keywords: Breast Cancer, Delayed Reporting, Determinants


Delayed reporting of breast cancer continues to increase in African countries, including Ghana, which is attributable to socio-cultural and economic factors. However, there is a paucity of data on socio-cultural and economic determinants of delayed reporting of breast cancer in Ghana. This study aimed to explore the socio‐cultural and economic determinants of delayed reporting of breast cancer among Ghanaian women. The study adopted an exploratory descriptive qualitative design with purposive sampling to recruit 17 women with breast cancer from the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana. Data were collected through in-depth interviews. Analysis: Data analysis was done using the thematic analysis approach. Delayed reporting was due to inaccurate information, the influence of social networks, cultural misconceptions, belief in alternative treatment, high cost of treatment, and extreme poverty. A combination of socio‐cultural and economic factors influences the delay in reporting breast cancer in Ghana. Culturally appropriate and adequate health information and education, integration of alternative treatment into the formal healthcare system in Ghana, and financial support from the government are needed to promote early reporting for treatment.

Author Biographies

Lydia Aziato, University of Ghana; Ghana

Adult Health, Professor

Emma Kwegyir-Afful, Department of Adult Health, School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom

Adult Health, Lecturer, 


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How to Cite
Iddrisu M, Yalin E, Aziato L, Kwegyir-Afful E, Vehvilainen₋JulkunenK. Socio-cultural and Economic Determinants of Delayed Reporting of Breast Cancer Among Ghanaian Women: A Qualitative Study. NHSJ [Internet]. 2023Sep.8 [cited 2023Oct.2];3(3):249-57. Available from: