Cervical cancer is the commonest cancer among women in India and its prevalence is much higher than that of the developed countries, with also the highest mortality. The incidence of the disease can be reduced by the practice of routine screening for precancerous lesion and also by administration of human papilloma virus vaccine to adolescent girls.
Objective: To determine the baseline information about the knowledge of cervical cancer and explore attitude and practice of Pap smear screening among the urban women.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of women attending Gynaecology Out-Patient Department (OPD) in a tertiary care hospital in Bangalore was conducted. Information regarding their knowledge of cervical cancer, awareness of screening modality, and their socio demographic characters were collected in a perform.
Results: Mean age of the study population was 40.45 ± 12 years. 142(47.3%) women knew about cervical cancer. 96(32%) women knew about prevention of cervical cancer and a majority-16 (5.3%) of them knew about the vaccination for prevention for cervical cancer. Of the total 300 women, only 86 (28.6%) had previously performed cervical cancer screening. The commonest reason for not undergoing Pap smear testing was neglect, lack of financial resources and the fear of discovering a serious disease.
Conclusion: In our study we found that women had a very poor knowledge regarding cervical cancer and were unaware of the concept of prevention. Extensive health education regarding, screening modality for cancer cervix and incorporation of pap smear in a national program can help to reduce the disease burden.