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Indian Journal of Pathology and Oncology


Study of awareness amongst women in rural and urbanareas about early detection of cervical cancer by pap smear


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Author Details: Paras Kharbanda, Dinesh Kumar Singh, Radhika Anand, Anju Singh

Volume : 2

Issue : 4

Online ISSN : 2394-6792

Print ISSN : 2394-6784

Article First Page : 219

Article End Page : 229


Abstract

Cervical cancer1 continues to be one of the most commonly found cancer affecting women worldwide. In developed countries that have implemented Pap smear2 screening programs, the incidence of cervical cancer has markedly reduced. In developing countries the problem of undiagnosed, cervical cancer leading to mortality is increasing day by day. In this study, the knowledge of Pap smear screening and cervical cancer, attitudes and beliefs pertaining to cervical cancer screening, and reasons for not doing cervical screening were identified. The primary objective is to find out the prevalence of awareness3 amongst women living in rural and urban areas, about the utility of Pap smear in early diagnosis of cervical cancer.
It is a cross sectional study of the patients coming to the OPD of Obs and Gyane dept. between the age group of 17 to 60 yrs. and residential area of Lucknow – Gomati Nagar was selected within the same age group. The sample size was 100 women urban and 100 women rural. The study was done in the months of June and July 2014.
This study has shown that women in our region lack knowledge of cervical cancer and its prevention by early detection4 by Pap smear both in the rural as well as the urban areas. This study clearly conveys the message that the rural women's educational status need to be strengthened at all levels.  The young age, low family income and low schooling are the risk factors for cervical cancer.
One of the significant finding in this study was that the majority women got their knowledge about cervical cancer screening from their social network (relatives and friends) rather than physicians or the media. This can be attributed to the absence of a well-organized cervical cancer screening programme. Most women in this study showed positive attitude towards screening on being informed about its procedure and its utility. Another important barrier mentioned by the participants was lack of information about screening sites. The places of screening should be easily addressed with simple information provision.
Cost is one of the important barriers reported by almost half of the study participants. Indian government should make Pap smear test part of subsidized routine for women. Embarrassment was reported as barriers among these study participants regarding pain and discomfort associated with Pap smear test was reported as a barrier in this study. To help women cope with concerns about pain and discomfort associated with Pap tests, interventions could focus on detailing the nature of the sample and teaching women some relaxation skills.

Keywords:
Cervical cancer, Pap smear, Awareness, Early detection.