Knowledge about Cervical Cancer Early Warning Signs and Symptoms, Risk Factors and Vaccination among Students at a Medical School in Al-Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among females and also the most preventable.In the literature there is abundant evidence that awareness regarding cervical cancer and its prevention is lowin the developing countries. Medical students are the future health professionals and can play an importantrole in increasing awareness among the general population. To assess the knowledge regarding symptoms, riskfactors and prevention of cervical carcinoma among medical students in th Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the presentstudy was planned. Materials and
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-administeredquestionnaire with students at the College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, KSA, from December2012 to May 2013.
Results: The responses of 188 students (males 111, females 77) in their second, third, fourth,and fifth years were recorded and used in the data analysis. The majority of the students were not aware ofthe early warning signs, symptoms and risk factors. On average, only 43.7% males and 56% of females wereaware about the early signs and symptoms whereas 51.4% males and 57.8% females had knowledge about therisk factors of cervical cancers. Some 55% males and 46.8% females were unable to select the correct answerregarding human papilloma virus (HPV) infection as the cause of cervical cancer. Majority of the students (67%)were not aware about the availability of vaccine against HPV.
Conclusions: Lack of knowledge regarding earlysigns and symptoms, risk factors and prevention of cervical cancer was observed in the present study.