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Original Article

PAFMJ. 2017; 67(4): 630-634


AWARENESS AND KNOWLEDGE REGARDING RISK FACTORS AND COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER AMONG FEMALE STUDENTS OF RAWALPINDI

Nosheen Zaidi, Mahmood Ur Rahman, Najma Javaid.

Abstract
Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practice among medical students regarding cervical cancer risk factors, common symptoms and preventive measures.
Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Foundation Medical University, Rawalpindi from 1st Jul 2016 to 30th Jun 2017.
Material and Methods: A total of 173 pre clinical female student of MBBS who give consent were enrolled in the study by non-probability consecutive sampling technique. With informed written consent, data were collected on pretested questionnaire. Data were presented as frequencies and percentages.
Results: Total 173 students were enrolled with response rate of 98%. Age ranged from 18-21 years. Fifty three (31%) students had family history of cervical cancer. Majority of the students 101 (59%) had heard about cervical cancer. Knowledge about etiological agent (38, 22%), HPV vaccine available for infection prevention (11, 6%) and its Pap smear screening (61, 36%) was poor. Abnormal vaginal discharge was the most common symptom (98, 57%). Overall response of symptoms was poor. An attitude towards diagnostic measures for cervical cancer was positive. A total of 127 (74%) students responded that every adult girl should be vaccinated against cervical cancer, 137 (73%) voted for regular cytological examination however 88 (56%) were not in opinion of doing pap testing as OPD procedure.
Conclusion: Our study revealed poor knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors and symptoms among female students. Awareness programs are required for early detection and treatment of this fatal cancer.

Key words: Cervical neoplasm, Human papilloma virus, Prevention, Risk factors, Students.



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