Condensed abstract: In the wake of embarking an HPV vaccination program on the public, a significant proportion of women are not well informed about cervical cancer risk factors.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the major risk factor for cervical cancer.
We implemented a retrospective case-series study to discern HPV knowledge accuracy among women diagnosed with and treated for cervical cancer. Cases (n= 1,174), identified from the Pathology database, were diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer at the same institution. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires and by reviewing medical records.
A total of 328 (27.9%) women returned the completed forms. Only 19% of the respondents had identified HPV as the primary risk factor for cervical cancer. Environmental pollutants, radiation exposure, poor dietary habits, excessive physical activity and family history of cervical cancer were listed as risk factors among many others. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine variables that were best associated with HPV knowledge accuracy. Age and education were the two variables that were statistically associated with the outcome. Younger and more educated women who participated in this study were more likely to know about the association between HPV infection and the risk of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer risk factor knowledge, especially knowledge about HPV is low, even among women with the history of cervical cancer. Younger and more educated women are more likely to have HPV and cervical cancer knowledge accuracy. The importance of personal health practices and the focus on health education should be equally emphasized to achieve successful cancer prevention through vaccination.