Cervical cancer awareness among females of reproductive age group
Objectives: To evaluate cervical cancer awareness among females of reproductive age group. Study Design: Descriptive Cross-sectional study. Setting: Gynecology OPD of Rawal General and Dental Hospital, Islamabad. Period: Six months; March to September 2016. Methods: Total 200 females of reproductive age group (15-49 years) were included (patients and their attendants), by using the non-probability convenience sampling. A semi structured questionnaire was filled by interview method by the researcher. Questions were related to awareness of females regarding cervical cancer. The response was noted in ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ and they were calculated in percentages. Results: Married females (56%), majority (45%) belonged to 27-38 years of age group, and maximum (46%) had intermediate education. Response in ‘Yes’ was; Heard about cervical cancer (68%), Heard about pap smear test (32%), Had pap smear test (5%), HPV is most common cause of cervical cancer (26%), HPV can spread through direct sexual contact (40%), Multiple sexual partners increase risk of cancer (64%), Smoking increase risk of cancer (40%), Vaccines available to prevent cervical cancer (38%). Cervical cancer be prevented by following all measures (40%), Never heard about Pap smear test (58%). Majority did not know how often pap smear test be done (43%). Both genders should have vaccine (55%). By following all the measures awareness of cervical cancer can be increased (48%). Conclusion: In this study awareness of cervical cancer along with its prevention was quite low in the women of reproductive age group. Insufficient knowledge of HPV infection was the reason of cervical cancer. The females were inadequately aware of the indications and significance of cervical cancer screening. Majority believed that Pap smear is performed only on the symptomatic women. The knowledge of women about the recipient of cervical cancer screening was poor.