Awareness about cervical cancer and prevention among women in Anuradhapura district

TRN Fernando, AN Wijayanayake

Abstract


Objective: To assess the awareness of cervical cancer, its risk factors and prevention among women, between 20 to 60 years of age , in Anurdhapura District (AD).

Method: A cross-sectional, questionnaire based survey was conducted during October 2011 - January 2012. Convenience sampling was applied.

Results: Total number of women participated were 700.Analysis was done on 657 completed data sheets.Majority (89.6%) of the women were between 20-49years.Majority (>88%) had secondary or higher education.Correlation between education level and awareness about cancer was highly positive 0.759.97% of the sample has heard about cervical cancer, only 90% knew that it could be prevented but only 8% knew the correct risk factors.

85.7% of the sample was unaware about the risk factors for cervical cancer. More than 50% were aware about the well woman clinics (WWC). Majority of women had mentioned television as their main source of information.

Conclusion: Although in this study sample majority of the women were of high literacy rate, their awareness about cervical cancer risk factors and its prevention was poor. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Sri Lanka. At the end of year 2007, 611 WWCs were functioning in the country. However the target age group coverage had been only 18%. There should be greater effort to improve the awareness among women of reproductive age, so that they will seek preventive care for cervical cancer.


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Proceedings of Annual Scientific Sessions of Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardeneprua, Sri Lanka