Cervical cancer is cancer arising from the cervix. It is caused due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer worldwide after breast cancer. An infection caused due to the high-risk strain of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the important risk factors that lead to cervical cancer. The high incidence of cervical cancers attributes the lack of awareness about the disease and its risk factors as well as its prevention methods among the general population. Hence this study aimed at assessing the knowledge and the awareness level of cervical cancer and its relationship between HPV among women living in the Al-Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia.
A cross-sectional study was carried out among 242 married women aged between 15-40 years randomly chosen from Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. The data collection for the study was done using a questionnaire containing the socio-demographic profile of the participants, their knowledge and awareness about the risk factors of cervical cancer, and their attitude toward the risk factors. The collected data were statistically analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. Chi-square tests and logistic regression models were used for association analysis. Associations were considered statistically significant at a p-value< 0.05.
Results: The present study found that the majority of the studied subjects had basic knowledge about cervical cancer, but a very limited of them (31.8%) knew about HPV. Further, a very minor portion of the studied subjects (21.1%) had knowledge about the HPV vaccine and Pap smear test.
Conclusion: The major cause for a reduced percentage of the knowledge levels regarding the relationship between cervical cancer and HPV among the studied subjects could be attributed to their limited awareness about cervical cancer and its risk factors, and to the inadequate health awareness received regarding its prevention methods. So, stepping up the campaign for the control of cervical cancer, as well as improving the health awareness programs concerning about screening procedures and vaccination available against HPV could create a great impact on the awareness level of women about the association between HPV and cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus, cervical cancer, awareness.