A Study on Knowledge and Screening for Cervical Cancer among Women in Mangalore City

Author(s): Harsha Kumar HN, Tanya S.

Background: Most of the cervical cancer cases are diagnosed late leading to poor outcomes. Very few studies have explored the role of doctor and source of information for awareness of women about cervical cancer in India. Aim: Hence, this study was conducted with the objective of knowing the knowledge of women about cervical cancer, its screening, role of doctor, source of information, and reasons for not undergoing screening if the women had not undergone testing for cervical cancer. Subjects and Methods: This was a questionnaire based cross‑sectional study conducted among the women attending the outpatient departments of teaching hospitals attached to Kasturba Medical College. A sample size of 83 was calculated. A semi‑structured questionnaire was developed. After obtaining permission from Institutional Ethics Committee, the questionnaire was administered to the women in the language of their preference. Women were educated after the data collection and a hand‑out was provided. Data was analyzed using SPSS Version 10. Student’s independent ‘t’ test was used to compare mean knowledge scores across sociodemographic groups. Results: Majority of the women have poor knowledge about cervical cancer (81.9% [68/83]) and it’s screening (85.5% [71/83]). Only 6 out of 83 women had undergone screening. Though women had come into contact with doctors earlier, they were neither educated about cervical cancer nor were they told about the screening. Whatever little knowledge the women had was obtained from mass media. Conclusions: Majority of women had poor knowledge. Mass media could be used to educate the women. There is a need to conduct community based study to know the practices of doctors and assess if they are educating and offering suggestions for screening.

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