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.
Cervical neoplasm, Human papilloma virus, Prevention, Risk factors, Students.