The age-standardized mortality rate for cervical cancer in Ghana, West Africa is more than three times the global cervical cancer mortality rate (27.6/100,000 vs. 7.8/100,000 respectively). The Pap test and visual inspection with acetic acid are available at public and private hospitals in Ghana. Approximately, 2.7% of Ghanaian women obtain cervical cancer screenings regularly. Men in middle-income countries play a key role in cervical cancer prevention. Increasing spousal support for cervical cancer screening may increase screening rates in Ghana.
Five focus groups were conducted with Ghanaian men (N = 29) to assess their cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening knowledge and beliefs. The qualitative data was analyzed via indexed coding.
Targets for education interventions were identified including inaccurate knowledge about cervical cancer and stigmatizing beliefs about cervical cancer risk factors. Cultural taboos regarding women's health care behaviours were also identified. Several participants indicated that they would be willing to provide spousal support for cervical cancer screening if they knew more about the disease and the screening methods.
Men play a significant role in the health behaviours of some Ghanaian women. Cervical cancer education interventions targeting Ghanaian men are needed to correct misconceptions and increase spousal support for cervical cancer screening.
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/Prevention and Control; Ghana; Focus Groups; Health Knowledge; Attitudes; Practice; Male
Objective. Vietnamese American women are at the greatest risk for cervical cancer but have the lowest cervical cancer screening rates. This study was to determine whether demographic and acculturation, healthcare access, and knowledge and beliefs are associated with a prior history of cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese women. Methods. Vietnamese women (n = 1450) from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the study and completed baseline assessments. Logistic regression analyses were performed. Results. Overall levels of knowledge about cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) are low. Factors in knowledge, attitude, and beliefs domains were significantly associated with Pap test behavior. In multivariate analyses, physician recommendation for screening and having health insurance were positively associated with prior screening. Conclusion. Understanding the factors that are associated with cervical cancer screening will inform the development of culturally appropriate intervention strategies that would potentially lead to increasing cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese women.
Introducing human papillomavirus (HPV) testing into cervical cancer screening has the potential to change the way that women understand cervical cancer, the psychological impact of abnormal screening results and the likelihood of future participation in screening. The study used in-depth interviews to examine how women make sense of information about HPV in the context of cervical cancer screening. A total of 74 women were recruited following participation in HPV testing. Women varied widely in their beliefs about the aetiology of cervical cancer and its relationship with sexual activity, as well as in their understanding of the sexually transmitted nature of HPV. While some women who understood that HPV is sexually transmitted were able to integrate this into their existing model of cervical cancer, others were shocked by the link between cervical cancer and sex, of which they had been previously unaware. Women were generally reassured to know that HPV is common, has no symptoms, can lie dormant for many years, can clear up on its own and need not raise concerns about transmission to sexual partners. Women's understanding of HPV varied considerably, even after participation in testing. The way in which information is presented to women will be crucial in minimising the negative psychological impact of testing positive and ensuring that participation in screening remains high.
public understanding; human papillomavirus; cancer screening
Attitudes and beliefs affect women’s cervical cancer screening behavior.
We surveyed 228 women in Cape Town, South Africa about their screening history, knowledge, beliefs, and access barriers regarding Papanicolaou (Pap) smears and cervical cancer.
More than half of the participants had never had a Pap smear or had 1 more than 10 years ago. One third did not know what a Pap smear was. Lengthy wait times and fatalistic beliefs also affected screening behavior. Ethnicity was associated with differences in beliefs.
Opportunistic cancer screening events are an effective way that women can obtain Pap smears and cancer education.
Recent US data indicate that women of Vietnamese descent have higher cervical cancer incidence rates than women of any other race/ethnicity, and lower levels of Pap testing than white, black, and Latina women. Our objective was to provide information about Pap testing barriers and facilitators that could be used to develop cervical cancer control intervention programs for Vietnamese American women.
We conducted a cross-sectional, community-based survey of Vietnamese immigrants. Our study was conducted in metropolitan Seattle, Washington. A total of 1,532 Vietnamese American women participated in the study. Demographic, health care, and knowledge/belief items associated with previous cervical cancer screening participation (ever screened and screened according to interval screening guidelines) were examined.
Eighty-one percent of the respondents had been screened for cervical cancer in the previous three years. Recent Pap testing was strongly associated (p<0.001) with having a regular doctor, having a physical in the last year, previous physician recommendation for testing, and having asked a physician for testing. Women whose regular doctor was a Vietnamese man were no more likely to have received a recent Pap smear than those with no regular doctor.
Our findings indicate that cervical cancer screening disparities between Vietnamese and other racial/ethnic groups are decreasing. Efforts to further increase Pap smear receipt in Vietnamese American communities should enable women without a source of health care to find a regular provider. Additionally, intervention programs should improve patient-provider communication by encouraging health care providers (especially male Vietnamese physicians serving women living in ethnic enclaves) to recommend Pap testing, as well as by empowering Vietnamese women to specifically ask their physicians for Pap testing.
Cervical cancer; Immigrants; Pap testing; Vietnamese
U.S., Hispanic women have higher cervical cancer incidence rates than non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans and lower rates of cervical cancer screening. Knowledge, attitudes, and cultural beliefs may play a role in higher rates of infection of HPV and decisions about subsequent diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer.
To explore the level of HPV knowledge, attitudes, and cultural beliefs among Hispanic men and women on the Texas-Mexico border.
Informed by feminist ethnography, the authors used an interpretive approach to understand local respondents' concerns and interests. Focus group sessions were analyzed using thematic content analysis.
Recruitment and sample
Promotoras (lay health workers) recruited participants using convenience sampling methods. Group sessions were held in public service centers in Brownsville. Participants' ages ranged from 19 to 76 years.
Focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed in Spanish. Researchers read and discussed all the transcripts and generated a coding list. Transcripts were coded using ATLAS.ti 5.0.
Participants had little understanding about HPV and its role in the etiology of cervical cancer. Attitudes and concerns differed by gender. Women interpreted a diagnosis of HPV as a diagnosis of cancer and expressed fatalistic beliefs about its treatment. Men initially interpreted a diagnosis of HPV as an indication of their partners' infidelity, but after reflecting upon the ambiguity of HPV transmission, attributed their initial reaction to cultural ideals of machismo. Men ultimately were interested in helping their partners seek care in the event of a positive diagnosis.
Implications for practice
Results suggest that understanding Hispanics' cultural norms and values concerning disease, sexuality, and gender is essential to the design and implementation of preventive interventions for HPV and cervical cancer.
qualitative; focus groups; Texas-Mexico border; HPV; cervical cancer; Pap test; Hispanics; Latinos; fatalism; machismo; cultural beliefs
Our study aimed to assess adult women’s knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, and characterize their attitudes towards potential screening and prevention strategies.
Women were participants of an HIV-discordant couples cohort in Nairobi, Kenya. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on sociodemographic status, and sexual and medical history at baseline and on knowledge and attitudes towards Pap smears, self-sampling, and HPV vaccination at study exit.
Only 14% of the 409 women (67% HIV-positive; median age 29 years) had ever had a Pap smear prior to study enrollment and very few women had ever heard of HPV (18%). Although most women knew that Pap smears detect cervical cancer (69%), very few knew that routine Pap screening is the main way to prevent ICC (18%). Most women reported a high level of cultural acceptability for Pap smear screening and a low level of physical discomfort during Pap smear collection. In addition, over 80% of women reported that they would feel comfortable using a self-sampling device (82%) and would prefer at-home sample collection (84%). Nearly all women (94%) reported willingness to be vaccinated to prevent cervical cancer if offered at no or low cost.
These findings highlight the need to educate women on routine use of Pap smears in the prevention of cervical cancer and demonstrate that vaccination and self-sampling would be acceptable modalities for cervical cancer prevention and screening.
Although it is widely accepted that Papanicolaou (Pap) screening can reduce cervical cancer mortality, many women still do not maintain regular cervical cancer screenings.
To describe the prevalence of cervical cancer screening and the demographic, behavioral, psychological, and cancer-related knowledge factors associated with adherence to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cervical cancer screening guidelines among women in the United States.
Data for women aged 25–64 were obtained from the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Women were considered adherent to screening guidelines if they had two consecutive, on-schedule screenings and planned to have another within the next 3 years. The sample comprised 2070 women.
Ninety-eight percent of women reported ever having a Pap smear, 90% reported having had a recent Pap smear (within 3 years), and 84% were adherent to USPSTF screening guidelines. Maintaining regular cervical cancer screening was significantly associated with having health insurance, normal body mass index (BMI), smoking status (nonsmoker), mood (absence of a mood disturbance), and being knowledgeable about cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Based on the observation that women who were current smokers, obese, or experiencing a substantial degree of psychological distress were significantly less likely to adhere to recommended screening guidelines, we suggest that healthcare providers pay particular attention to the screening needs of these more vulnerable women.
Cervical cancer is the commonest cancer of women in Uganda. Over 80% of women diagnosed in Mulago national referral and teaching hospital, the biggest hospital in Uganda, have advanced disease. Pap smear screening, on opportunistic rather than systematic basis, is offered free in the gynaecological outpatients clinic and the postnatal/family planning clinics. Medical students in the third and final clerkships are expected to learn the techniques of screening. Objectives of this study were to describe knowledge on cervical cancer, attitudes and practices towards cervical cancer screening among the medical workers of Mulago hospital.
In a descriptive cross-sectional study, a weighted sample of 310 medical workers including nurses, doctors and final year medical students were interviewed using a self-administered questionnaire. We measured knowledge about cervical cancer: (risk factors, eligibility for screening and screening techniques), attitudes towards cervical cancer screening and practices regarding screening.
Response rate was 92% (285). Of these, 93% considered cancer of the cervix a public health problem and knowledge about Pap smear was 83% among respondents. Less than 40% knew risk factors for cervical cancer, eligibility for and screening interval. Of the female respondents, 65% didn't feel susceptible to cervical cancer and 81% had never been screened. Of the male respondents, only 26% had partners who had ever been screened. Only 14% of the final year medical students felt skilled enough to use a vaginal speculum and 87% had never performed a pap smear.
Despite knowledge of the gravity of cervical cancer and prevention by screening using a Pap smear, attitudes and practices towards screening were negative. The medical workers who should be responsible for opportunistic screening of women they care for are not keen on getting screened themselves. There is need to explain/understand the cause of these attitudes and practices and identify possible interventions to change them. Medical students leave medical school without adequate skills to be able to effectively screen women for cervical cancer wherever they go to practice. Medical students and nurses training curricula needs review to incorporate practical skills on cervical cancer screening.
The purpose of this article is to examine knowledge and health beliefs associated with cervical cancer screening among Korean American women. A telephone survey was conducted with 189 Korean American women in the Chicago area. Age, marital status, income, knowledge of early detection method for cervical cancer, and perceived beliefs about benefits of and barriers to receiving Pap tests were all related to outcomes of ever having a Pap test and having had one in the preceding 3 years. Variables uniquely related to ever having a Pap test were education, employment status, fluency in English, and proportion of life spent in the United States. Variables uniquely related to having had the test during the preceding 3 years were having a usual source of care and regular checkups. Different intervention components are suggested for the groups of Korean American women who have never had a Pap smear and for those who have not had one in the preceding 3 years, in addition to common intervention strategies that aim to increase knowledge and perceived benefit and to decrease perceived barriers to receiving Pap tests.
cervical cancer; screening behaviors; health behavior; symptom focus; Korean Americans; Pap smear; knowledge; beliefs
Cervical cancer is the primary cause of death due to cancer in women in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. The Chuukese population is the fastest growing segment of the Micronesian community in Hawai‘i. Little is known about the health beliefs or practices of this population in Hawai‘i. The purpose of this project was to describe the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Chuukese women in Hawai‘i regarding cervical cancer prevention and screening.
Research assistants from the Chuukese community were recruited and trained as members of the research team. A culturally sensitive survey tool was developed and piloted by the research team and used to interview ten key informants from the Chuukese community in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.
There is limited knowledge about cervical cancer, especially the association with human papillomavirus (HPV). This may be indicative of a lack of health information in general. Fear, privacy concerns, lack of awareness and cultural beliefs represent the main barriers mentioned when discussing cervical cancer. Education, done in a group setting with other women, is the most recommended method of informing this community and improving preventive and screening services for cervical cancer in these women.
The current study sought to determine knowledge about HPV, HPV vaccination and their relationship to cancer; assess acceptability of and intent to vaccinate; and describe the individual characteristics, cultural attitudes, social and environmental factors that affect African American parents' intent to vaccinate.
Two hundred African Americans completed self-administered surveys that assessed factors that may influence HPV vaccination behavior: HPV, cervical cancer, Pap and HPV vaccination knowledge; HPV and cervical cancer risk perception; cultural attitudes and beliefs, such as medical mistrust, spirituality/religiosity, and attitudes about adolescent sexuality and sexual risk behaviors. Eligibility criteria included men and women who: self-identified as African American and had a daughter nine to 17 years of age who had not been told that she had an HPV infection.
Among these African American parents, approximately two-thirds were aware of HPV and HPV vaccination. These individuals were likely to be female, younger, employed, to have social resources, and to have contact with family or friends previously diagnosed with cervical cancer. They were also knowledgeable about HPV, but knowledge did not necessarily lead to vaccination. Among the subgroup of aware individuals who reported having daughters that were and were not vaccinated, vaccination status was significantly affected by whether a pediatrician had recommended the vaccine (p < 0.001). A greater percentage of parents with vaccinated daughters were worried that their child would one day contract an STI. There were no significant differences between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups with respect to demographic characteristics or socio-cultural attitudes.
There is a need for continued HPV promotion and education efforts in the African American community. Discussions with pediatric and family practitioners are key to HPV education and promotion activities.
This study was aimed at estimating the human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence and its determinants among a sample of Ghanaian women.
Cross-sectional observational study.
Gynaecology outpatient clinic of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana; the largest tertiary care gynaecology outpatient clinic in Ghana.
Convenient sample of 75 consenting women visiting the clinic.
Information was obtained through personal interviews using structured questionnaire, Pap smears obtained, and laboratory testing of cervical exfoliated cells was performed. HPV DNA was detected using a GP5+/6+ polymerase chain reaction assay. These data were analyzed using both univariate and bivariate techniques.
The mean age of participants was 33.3 years (standard deviation, 9.2) and the percentage of lifetime monogamy was 21.3%. The crude HPV DNA prevalence was 10.7%. Unlike most populations studied so far, HPV prevalence was high not only among young women, but also in middle and old age. Independent HPV determinants were being illiterate (prevalence odds ratio [POR], 13.9; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.9–100) and reporting more than three lifetime sexual partners (POR, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.0–22.2).
The study indicates a high crude prevalence of HPV in a largely polygamous Ghanaian population with a high crude prevalence in older age groups, which may be a distinctive feature of polygamous populations where HPV transmission continues into middle age and cervical cancer incidence is very high.
HPV; Prevalence; PCR; Ghana
Carcinoma of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, while it is the commonest cancer among Indian women. Awareness regarding cervical cancer and its prevention is quite low amongst Indian women. The Pap test is a simple and cost effective technique for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. It is necessary to make nursing staff aware of cervical cancer, so that they can impart knowledge regarding cervical cancer and its prevention to the general public.
Aims and objectives:
(1) To assess the knowledge level regarding symptoms, risk factors, prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma among nursing staff. (2) To find out the behaviour of respondents regarding prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma.
Materials and methods:
A cross-sectional interview-based survey regarding knowledge levels about cervical carcinoma was conducted among the nursing staff from one of the tertiary health institutes of Ahmedabad, India. A structured questionnaire with multiple choices was used for data collection. Provision for open-ended responses was also made in the questionnaire. Department-wise stratification was carried out, and thereafter 15% of the total nursing staff from all departments were selected randomly so as to include a total of 100 nurses in the current study. Data entry was done in Microsoft Excel. SPSS statistical software was used to generate statistical parameters like proportion, mean, standard deviation, etc. The Z test was used as a test of significance, and a P value of <0.05 was considered as the level of significance.
cervical cancer; knowledge; nursing staff; PAP test
Women living with HIV (WLH) bear a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer and may face challenges understanding health information. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of health literacy on WLH cervical cancer screening knowledge and behaviors. WLH were recruited from clinic- and community-based settings in the southeastern USA. The majority of women completing a questionnaire assessing factors related to cervical cancer were African American (90 %). About 38 % of women reported low health literacy. Compared to women with high health literacy, these women were more likely to report having had ≥2 Pap tests during the year after HIV diagnosis (p=0.02), and less likely to have had a Pap test <1 year previously (p=0.05). There was no difference in cervical cancer or human papillomavirus knowledge among those with low versus high health literacy. Results revealed mixed finding on the influence of health literacy on screening knowledge and behaviors.
Health literacy; HIV-positive women; Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer among Korean women and is one of the most preventable cancers in the world. This study aimed to investigate the change in cervical cancer screening rates, the level of socioeconomic disparities in cervical cancer screening participation, and whether there was a reduction in these disparities between 1998 and 2010.
Using the Korean Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, women 30 years or older without a history of cervical cancer and who completed a health questionnaire, physical examination, and nutritional survey were included (n = 17,105). Information about participation in cervical cancer screening was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between cervical cancer screening participation and the socioeconomic status of the women.
The cervical cancer screening rate increased from 40.5% in 1998 to 52.5% in 2010. Socioeconomic disparities influenced participation, and women with lower educational levels and lower household income were less likely to be screened. Compared with the lowest educational level, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for screening in women with the highest educational level were 1.56 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05–2.30) in 1998, and 1.44 (95% CI: 1.12–1.87) in 2010. Compared with women with the lowest household income level, the adjusted ORs for screening in women with the highest household income level were 1.80 (95% CI: 1.22–2.68), 2.82 (95% CI: 2.01–3.96), and 1.45 (95% CI: 1.08–1.94) in 2001, 2005, and 2010, respectively.
Although population-wide progress has been made in participation in cervical cancer screening over the 12-year period, socioeconomic status remained an important factor in reducing compliance with cancer screening.
Cervical cancer; Screening; Socioeconomic status; Disparity
U.S. Hispanic women suffer a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer, with incidence and mortality rates almost twice that of whites. Community health workers, or promotoras, are considered a potential strategy for eliminating such racial and ethnic health disparities. The current study is a randomized trial of a promotora-led educational intervention focused on cervical cancer in a local Hispanic community.
Four promotoras led a series of two workshops with community members covering content related to cervical cancer. Sociodemographic characteristics, cervical cancer risk, previous screening history, cervical cancer knowledge, and self-efficacy were measured by a pre-intervention questionnaire. The post-intervention questionnaire measured the following outcomes: cervical cancer knowledge (on a 0–6 scale), self-efficacy (on a 0–5 scale), and receipt of Pap smear screening during the previous 6 months (dichotomous). Univariate analyses were performed using chi square, t-test, and the Mann–Whitney test. Multivariate logistic regression was used to model the association between explanatory variables and receipt of Pap smear screening.
There were no statistically significant differences between the two experimental groups at baseline. Follow-up data revealed significant improvements in all outcome measures: Pap smear screening (65% vs. 36%, p-value 0.02), cervical cancer knowledge (5.4 vs. 3.5, p-value < 0.001), and self-efficacy (4.7 vs. 4.0, p-value 0.002). In multivariate analysis, cervical cancer knowledge (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.10-2.81) and intervention group assignment (OR 6.74, 95% CI 1.77-25.66) were associated with receiving a Pap smear during the follow-up period.
Our randomized trial of a promotora-led educational intervention demonstrated improved Pap screening rates, in addition to increased knowledge about cervical cancer and self-efficacy. The observed association between cervical cancer knowledge and Pap smear receipt underscores the importance of educating vulnerable populations about the diseases that disproportionately affect them. Future research should evaluate such programs on a larger scale, and identify novel targets for intervention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1434-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
cervical cancer; health disparities; community health worker; promotora
Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups have low rates of breast and cervical cancer screening. This study examined knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KABs) regarding breast and cervical cancer on AAPI women. A cross-sectional survey of 1,808 AAPI women was included. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were provided and 55.3%, 68.6%, and 71.9% had received mammograms, clinical breast exam, and Pap smears, respectively. KABs on breast and cervical cancer varied between the four ethnic groups. Understanding the KABs toward cancer screening among AAPI women holds promise for identifying barriers to early detection and could aid in the creation of interventions.
Knowledge; Attitudes; Beliefs; Breast and cervical cancer
Three hundred twenty-one inner-city African-American women were interviewed to determine their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding cancer and cancer screening, and their cancer screening histories. The women were recruited from a variety of sources in Atlanta and were interviewed in their homes by trained lay health workers. Half of the subjects had an annual household income of < $15,000. About half had received a Pap smear and clinical breast examination within the year preceding the interviews. For women > 35 years old, 35% had received a mammogram within the recommended interval. Younger women and women with higher incomes were more likely than older women and those with lower incomes to have received a Pap test and clinical breast examination within the preceding year, but income was not significantly associated with mammography histories. In general, women who were more knowledgeable about cancer and its prevention were more likely to have been appropriately screened. However, various attitudes and beliefs regarding cancer generally were not associated with screening histories. We conclude that cancer screening programs for inner-city minority women should focus on improving knowledge levels among older women rather than attempting to alter attitudes and beliefs.
OBJECTIVES--To determine the factors that deter ethnic minority women living in east London from attending their general practitioner for cervical cytology screening. DESIGN--Qualitative study by means of focus group discussions between October 1993 and March 1994. SETTING--East London. SUBJECTS--Non-health specific established community groups and specially convened groups of Bengali, Kurdish, Turkish, Urdu and Punjabi, and Chinese speaking women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The spontaneous views of non-English speaking women resident in east London on cervical screening, focusing on attitudes to screening, their experiences of the cervical cytology screening services as currently provided, and their knowledge and beliefs about cervical screening. RESULTS--Some reported attitudinal barriers to cervical cytology screening such as fear of cancer were not deterrents. Administrative and language barriers were more important, as were inadequate surgery premises and concerns about sterility. CONCLUSION--Contrary to popular belief among general practitioners in east London, women from ethnic minorities are enthusiastic about cervical cytology screening once they understand the purpose of the test and the call and recall procedures. It is possible to consult with community groups in their own language through focus group discussions, working with bilingual health advocates who have had a short practical training in facilitating small group discussions. This form of user consultation could be carried out focusing on other aspects of health promotion.
To determine the baseline information about the knowledge of cervical cancer and explore attitude and practice of Pap smear screening among staff nurses.
A pretested structured self administered questionnaire based survey was done on 205 staff nurses working in Rural Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Saifai, Etawah, containing mostly recognition and some recall type questions about demographics, knowledge about cervical cancer, its risk factors, screening techniques, attitudes towards cervical cancer screening and its practices.
In this study, 74% knew that Pap smear is used for detection of cervical cancer, but only 59% knew that it can detect both cancerous as well as precancerous lesions of the cervix. Only 18% of the respondents knew about human papillomavirus vaccine. A 47% of respondents had never taken a Pap smear; 63% never referred patients for the screening. Most nurses (79%) thought that a speculum examination and Pap smear are procedures to be performed by the doctors. Among all the respondents, only 11% had ever undergone a Pap smear on themselves.
Despite knowledge of the gravity of cervical cancer and prevention by screening, attitudes and practices towards screening were negative.
Cervical cancer; Pap smear; Screening attitude
Estimates of the percentage of women who have had Pap smears in Peru vary between 7% and 43%. This study explores what women know about cervical cancer and Pap smears, as well as their barriers to obtaining Pap smears. Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with a total of 177 women in four Peruvian cities. Discussions reveal that most women did not know what causes cervical cancer. Most women did not know the purpose of Pap smears, although knowledge about Pap smears was higher than knowledge about cervical cancer. Fear, embarrassment, and lack of knowledge were the main barriers identified for not getting Pap smears. Programs and policies aiming to increase Pap smear coverage must start by educating women on cervical cancer and its prevention in order to improve women's perceptions about the screening test and increase Pap smear seeking behaviors in the long term.
An 18-month intervention was implemented to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among poor African-American women in Chicago. Breast and cervical cancer screening programs were set up in two public clinics, one community-based and the other hospital-based. Nurse clinicians and public health workers were used in these programs to recruit women in the clinics and in targeted community institutions to receive free breast and cervical cancer screening. The following barriers were specifically addressed by the intervention: accessibility of screening, knowledge about breast and cervical cancers, access to followup screening examinations, and access to treatment. A computerized followup system was specifically designed to track patients. During the 18 months of the intervention, 10,829 visits were made by 7,654 low-income women. A total of 84 cases of breast cancer and 9 cases of cervical cancer were detected. Awareness of the program, as measured by a survey after the completion of the intervention, increased in both clinics compared with baseline results. Knowledge about breast and cervical cancers also increased, as measured by scores on tests given before and after a class on breast and cervical cancers. Followup rates were 86 percent for women attending the programs. More than 90 percent of the women referred for evaluation of breast abnormalities kept an appointment. In summary, the intervention was successful in reducing barriers to breast and cervical cancer detection and in attracting a high-risk group of women.
Cervical cancer is one of the ten most frequent cancers in Turkey. It is well known that cervical cancer morbidity and mortality could be significantly reduced with an active cervical smear screening (Pap smear) program.
The aims of this study were: 1) to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of women about cervical smear testing; 2) to establish a cervical smear screening program and to evaluate the cervical cytological abnormalities that were found; 3) to determine the applicability, limitations and effectiveness of this screening in a primary health care unit.
Patients and Methods:
A total of 332 married women were included in our study. We collected data concerning socio-demographic and fertility characteristics, and knowledge about Pap smear testing was determined through printed questionnaires. A gynecological examination and Pap smear screening was performed on every woman in our study group.
Over ninety percent of our study group had never heard of and had not undergone Pap smear screening before. Of the 332 smears evaluated, 328 (98.8%) were accepted as normal, whereas epithelial cell anomalies were seen in 4 (1.2%), infection in 59 (17.7%), and reactive cell differences in 223 (67.2%) of the smears.
The frequency of epithelial cell anomalies in our study group was less than the frequencies reported from Western countries. Knowledge regarding cervical cancer and Pap smear screening was very low. Pap smears can be easily taken and evaluated through a chain built between the primary health care unit and laboratory, and this kind of screening intervention is easily accepted by the population served.
Cervical smear; cervical intraepithelial lesion; cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer remains to be one of the leading malignancies among Filipino women. High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types, such as 16 and 18, are consistently identified in Filipino women with cervical cancer. Factors identified to increase the likelihood of HPV infection and subsequent development of cervical cancer include young age at first intercourse, low socioeconomic status, high parity, smoking, use of oral contraception and risky sexual behaviors. Cancer screening programs presently available in the Philippines include Pap smears, single visit approach utilizing visual inspection with acetic acid followed by cryotherapy, as well as colposcopy. However, the uptake of screening remains low and is further compounded by the lack of basic knowledge women have regarding screening as an opportunity for prevention of cervical cancer. Prophylactic HPV vaccination of both quadrivalent and bivalent vaccines has already been approved in the Philippines and is gaining popularity among the Filipinos. However, there has been no national or government vaccination policy implemented as of yet. The standard of treatment of cervical cancer is radiotherapy concurrent with chemotherapy. Current researches are directed towards improving availability of both preventive and curative measures of cervical cancer management.
Cervical cancer; Epidemiology; Screening; Human papillomavirus vaccines