KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER AMONG MARRIED WOMEN ATTENDING PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTERS IN DUHOK CITY
Background: Despite the consideration that cervical cancer is a preventable cancer, it still known as one of the most common cancers among women worldwide. It kills about 270,000 women every year, and 85% of these deaths occur in less-developed regions. Cervical cancer is an important public health problem in developing countries due to lack of knowledge about the disease and its risk factors with poor access to preventive services. Early detection of it is performed by a medical screening procedure Pap smear.
Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the knowledge about cervical cancer and its association with the socio-demographic characteristics among married women attending primary health care centers (PHCCs) in Duhok city.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted among 400 women in the PHCCs from 7th of April- 30thof May 2015, through direct interview with them by using a structured questionnaire to gather the data related to the knowledge concerning cervical cancer.
Results: Among all women who were interviewed, 57.2% heard about cervical cancer and only (25%) of them had good knowledge about it, while 35.9% heard of Pap smear and the good knowledge in 7.3%, the main reason for doing this test was health provider's advice. The majority of women 71.6% received information about cervical cancer from their friends, or family members among those who had a family history, but only 6.5% of them reported that the internet or T.V as a source of information. Most of them 96.5% did not have a family history of this cancer and less than half of them 48.8% were of medium socioeconomic status. The impact of smoking as a cause was 87.3%, while 43.2% considered the early age of marriage was the risk factor. There was a statistically significant association between the women's knowledge about cervical cancer and their occupations (P= 0.03).
Conclusions: The majority of women had low knowledge about cervical cancer and Pap smear. Effective media and providing health education are required to improve the level of awareness toward them.
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