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Awareness of cervical cancer and willingness to participate in screening program: Public health policy implications


 Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Somdatta Patra,
Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most common malignancies among women in India. There is a high mortality as patients usually present at an advanced stage because of lack of awareness and nonexistent screening programs. Aim: This study was planned to find out awareness about cervical cancer among women and their willingness to utilize screening services in an urban resettlement colony of Delhi, India. Settings and Design: A community-based, cross-sectional study was carried out in a resettlement colony of North-West Delhi. Materials and Methods: Semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect information regarding different aspects of cervical cancer. Analysis was done using SPSS package (SPSS version 16 (UCMS and GTBH, Delhi, India)). Results: A total of 373 women were included in the study. Mean age of study participants was 39.14 years. Two-third of the study population were illiterate. Half of the study population was aware of cervical cancer, and only one-fourth of population were willing to participate in a screening test. Willingness was higher among educated, ever user of family planning method and having knowledge about at least one risk factor, signs or symptoms, or possibility of early diagnosis of cancer cervix. Conclusions: The country's national program advocates for opportunistic and targeted screening of women. An understanding of the factors that influences womens' willingness to participate in screening program is essential for the success of such programs. Hence, this study emphasizes the need for dissemination of knowledge about various aspects of cancer cervix which is critical for uptake of any screening program in a developing country.


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    -  Patra S
    -  Upadhyay M
    -  Chhabra P
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