Awareness of Cervix Cancer Risk Factors in Educated Youth: A Cross-Sectional, Questionnaire Based Survey in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka


Objective: The main aim of this study was to evaluate the awareness of cervix cancer risk factors amongEducated Youth with respect to socio demographic factors. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional questionnairesurvey was carried out among 1268 female undergraduate students in Delhi , Mangalore (India), Pokhara (Nepal)and Kandy (Srilanka) between 25 April 2010 and 20 August 2010 using structured questionnaire containingdetails of awareness of cervix cancer risk factors and socio demographic details. Descriptive statistics and testingof hypothesis were used for the analysis. Data analyzed using EPI INFO and SPSS 16 software.
Results: In the1,268 subjects, the mean age of Indian (528, 41.6%), Nepalese (480, 37.9%) and Srilankan (260, 20.5%) were18.3 ± SD 0.7, 18.6 ± SD 0.8 and 18.0 ± SD 1.5 years, respectively. Distribution of students according to religionvaried across the countries. Majority of the students were Hindus in India (61.4%) and Nepal (89.6%) whilein Srilanka the majority (53.8%) were Buddhist. Relationships could be established between nationality andrisk factors viz. awareness regarding cervix cancer (p= 0.024), sexual activity at an early age (before 16) cancause cervix cancer (p=0.0001), multiple sex partners can cause cervix cancer (p=0.001), condom/other birthcontrol measures cant prevent HPV infection (p=0.0001), smoking as a risk factor(p=0.0001), hereditary riskfactor (p=0.015), and first degree relative (p=0.0001).
Conclusion: These results indicate that there is an urgentneed for a reinvigorated and tailored approach to cervix cancer prevention among the educated youth in India,Nepal and Srilanka. Prevention efforts should be focused on improving social awareness, enforcing educationstrategies to reduce risk factors and improving the strength and quality of counselling.