Document Type : Research Articles
MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, B-5, Greater Kailash Enclave-II, New Delhi, India.
Background: Early-stage cervical cancer diagnoses may be the consequence of timely medical care in the presence of symptoms which can be linked to awareness of the symptoms and risk factors. This study aims to determine the knowledge about risk factors and symptoms of cervical cancer and associated factors among women aged 20-49 years. Methods: Data were utilized from the survey under the intervention “Increasing access to cervical cancer screening and care through the community-centric continuum of care initiative in India” (2015). The sample size was 1,020 women in the age group of 20-49 years. Descriptive statistics, along with bivariate analysis, was done to represent the preliminary results. Multivariable regression analysis was used to represent the estimates. Results: About 40.1% [Delhi: 56.9% and Rohtak: 20.4%] and 45.5% [Delhi: 52.2% and Rohtak: 37.7%] of respondents had good knowledge about risk factors and symptoms of cervical cancer, respectively. Respondents with primary educational status had an 86% significantly higher likelihood for good knowledge about identified risk factors of cervical cancer [ adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.86; CI: 1.12-3.10]. Respondents who were married or widowed/divorced/separated had significantly higher odds for good knowledge about identified risk factors and symptoms of cervical cancer in reference to respondents who were never married. Respondents from Rohtak had 72% and 35% significantly higher odds for good knowledge about identified risk factors [aOR:0.28; CI: 0.21,0.39] and symptoms [aOR:0.65; CI: 0.48,0.88] of cervical cancer, respectively, in reference to respondents from Delhi. Conclusion: Overall awareness about cervical cancer and Human papillomavirus (HPV) as the causative agent was low, more so in Rohtak. This is extremely worrisome as blocking HPV infection is one of the most effective ways to prevent cervical cancer. Moreover, the knowledge about the risk factors and symptoms of cervical cancer is also inadequate, particularly in women from Rohtak.