Cervical Cancer Awareness: Its Risk Factors, Perceptions and Prevention among Women in Hubli, Karnataka

Dattatraya D Bant, Rana Sarvar

Abstract


Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women aged 15-44 years. The key to reducing cervical cancer morbidity and mortality is early detection and treatment of cervical pre-cancerous lesions through PAP and HPV tests.

Objective: To explore the level of awareness about cervical cancer among women and to assess their awareness regarding preventive screening methods available and its utilization and perceptions.

Methodology: A cross sectional community-based study was conducted on 120 women above 18 years of age. The study participants were randomly selected from four urban areas of Hubli and interviewed using a pretested semi structured questionnaire. The data was entered into Microsoft excel and analysed using SPSS.

Results: In our study, 91.7% had not even heard of cervical cancer. 77.5% participants did not know the cause for cervical cancer. 29% thought it was preventable. Less than 1% had undergone screening tests. None of the women were vaccinated against HPV infection. 42% of the women think that cancer treatment facility is available in government hospital and 40% think that it’s available only in private hospitals with 18% having no idea where to go for treatment.

Conclusions: As women are ignorant about the risk of cervical cancer and don’t prioritise their health, awareness can be created among them on days of ANC check-ups and immunisation. Health care workers also need to be sensitised towards the issue. There is need for effective and more efficient use of mass media in spreading awareness in form of advertisements, articles etc.


Keywords


Cervical cancer, Health education, Screening, Treatment

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