AWARENESS ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER IN PAKISTANI WOMEN
To assess the knowledge of women about cervical cancer, its screening and to identify the barriers to cervical screening. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: Sharif Medical City Hospital affiliated with Sharif Medical and Dental College for a period of six months from Jun 2016 to Nov 2016.
Material and Methods:
All married women who attended the outpatient clinic were included in the study after written consent. Data was collected on a structured proforma. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS 23. Quantitative variables like age was calculated using mean and standard deviation and qualitative variables like occupation and education using frequency and percentages.
Total number of women was 1070. Their mean age was 29.2 ± 7.2 with 64.8% in age group of 21-30 years while 48.9% (693) were multipara. Only 2.2% (24) had knowledge about the symptoms and risk factors of cervical carcinoma. The women who had heard about pap smear as method of cervical screening were 2.5% (27) and only 2% (21) had their pap smear testing done. Women who agreed for future cervical screening were 55.8% (597). Major barriers to cervical screening were; lack of information in 80% (856) followed by misconception for the need of testing in 12% (129), family trends of not getting cervical screening in 5.2% (56).
The awareness of Pakistani women regarding cervical cancer and its screening was found very poor. The major barrier is lack of information, and misconception about the need of cervical screening.