The knowledge of young women about cervical cancer
Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2021;131: 45-49
Piotr Okoński1, Agnieszka Parfin1, Patrycja Pałczyńska2, Krystian Wdowiak2,
Aleksandra Witas2, Witold Wojdan2, Weronika Sakowska2
1 Chair and Department of Public Health, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2 Students Scientific Association at Chair and Department of Public Health, Medical Uniwersity of Lublin, Poland
© 2021 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
Introduction. Women in Poland suffer from and die of cervical cancer more often than women from other European countries. The reason for this phenomenon is the fact that women in Poland are reluctant to perform Pap smear tests. Reluctance to undergo a Pap smear is due to low awareness of its course. Numerous studies show that women do not know much about the course of illness, risk factors and prevention of cervical cancer. In its prevention, health behaviors are important from the moment of sexual initiation, so it is important that young women have sufficient knowledge about it.
Aim. Determining the state of knowledge of the respondents, comparing social awareness to previous research and proposing new preventive solutions.
Material and methods. An anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted in electronic form among women aged 16-25 from all over Poland. The study was conducted using a proprietary questionnaire (Google form) completed online. The questionnaire contained closed questions verifying the knowledge of the topic under study and personal information. The following computer programs were used for statistical analysis of data: Statistica and Microsoft Excel.
Results. Almost half of the surveyed women believes that the use of oral hormonal contraception does not increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. One in ten women does not know about the existence of an HPV vaccine. Nearly one third of the respondents do not see a gynecologist at all. Nearly two-thirds of women do not perform a Pap smear.
Conclusions. The surveyed women have some knowledge concerning cervical prophylaxis, but they rarely use it in practice. However, the knowledge of women about the symptoms and risk factors of cervical cancer is small. Too few women know about the existence of a cervical cancer prevention program in Poland.
Keywords: prevention, health education, cancer, cervical cancer.