Neha Dahiyaa*, Kavita Aggarwalb, Megha Chandra Singhb, Suneela Gargb, Rajesh Kumarb
aDepartment of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, bDepartment of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, India
Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation
Objective: Cervical cancer is one of the major concerns of public health importance in today’s world. It is a leading cause of mortality in women of reproductive age group worldwide, mainly in developing countries. Reduction in mortality and morbidity due to cervical cancer
is possible through early detection and treatment. The major factors influencing the early detection of cervical cancer are knowledge regarding risk factors, screening, Pap smear, and symptoms among women. Materials and Methods: The present cross‑sectional study was carried out to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of women about the risk factors, symptoms, and prevention of cervical cancer. Data were obtained from 220 women who visited international trade fair using a pretested self‑administered questionnaire. Results: Only 75 study women (50.0%) had ever heard of cervical cancer. The knowledge regarding cervical cancer and its various domains was significantly higher in students and unmarried women. The foul‑smelling vaginal discharge was the most common early symptom of cervical cancer according to most of the study women (26, 17.3%). Most of the study women (19, 12.7%) reported tobacco and smoking as the most common risk factor associated with cervical cancer. Only 39 women (26%) had ever heard of cervical cancer screening. Only 27 women (18.0%) ever had Pap smear done in the past and 87 women (58.0%) were willing to undergo cervical cancer screening is offered free of cost. Conclusion: The study demonstrates the lack of awareness in women regarding cervical cancer and its screening modalities. This necessitates spreading awareness regarding early symptoms and risk factors associated with cervical cancer for early detection and treatment initiation.
Keywords: Attitude, Cervical cancer, Knowledge, Screening