Vol 82, No 1 (2011)

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Awareness of cervical cancer prevention among patients of gynecological outpatient clinic

Izabela Ulman-Włodarz, Krzysztof Nowosielski, Małgorzata Romanik, Janusz Pozowski, Marzena Jurek
Ginekol Pol 2011;82(1).


Abstract Introduction: Improvement of cervical cancer statistics in Poland is believed to be one of the main goals of all medical services. Cervical cancer is an easily preventable neoplasm thus effective strategies for its prophylaxis should be proposed and introduced to the whole population of Polish citizens. Objectives: The aim of the study was to measure the extent of knowledge of females about cervical cancer and its prevention. Material and methods: 250 female patients of gynecological clinic at the Medical Centre in Krakow, Poland, aged 18-60, were included into the retrospective study. The research was based on an original questionnaire designed by the authors containing questions concerning general socio-epidemiological status, as well as cervical cancer epidemiology and HPV infection prevention methods. Results: The majority of respondents (68%) rated their knowledge on cervical cancer prevention strategies as medium. The main sources of information on that prophylaxis were: women’s magazines (59% of respondents), media (47%) and Internet (38%). Additionally, only one in three women acquired that information from gynecologist. The main reason for performing the Pap smear test was the request of the respondent (43% of cases). Only 3% of them attended the test as a result of a personal invitation sent by National Health Service. The main reasons for not attending Pap smear test were: fear of pain (39%), lack of any symptoms (18%), carelessness (15%) and embarrassment (12%). Conclusions: 1. Knowledge on HPV infections and cervical cancer prevention among women attending gynecological outpatient clinic is insufficient. 2. Education, especially in the field of cervical cancer main risk factors as well as the course of pap smear collection, seems to be necessary in order to reduce the cervical cancer morbidity and the fear of performing pap smear tests.

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