Cervical cancer prevention methods: awareness and use among urban Ghanaian women in Cape Coast, West Africa

13 Nov 2023
Abdoul Azize Diallo, Nathaniel Nii A Codjoe, Sebastian Ken-Amoah, Evans Kofi Agbeno

Background: Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent malignancy and common cause of mortality in women worldwide, despite being one of the most preventable female cancers.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the awareness and knowledge of patients about cervical cancer prevention methods and the use of these methods by women in an urban setting.

Method: A cross-sectional study design was employed. A census was conducted to include all women (n = 153) who met the inclusion criteria and attended the gynaecology clinic of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital from May to July 2022 for various gynaecological reasons. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire adapted from the Cervical Cancer Knowledge Prevention-64.

Results: The mean age was 40.0 years and ranges between 18 and 78 years. The majority of study participants had at least a secondary school level of education (78.8%), and almost all had at least a primary school education (95.4%). Most of the respondents (64.7%) were not aware of cervical cancer. Among those who had awareness, 64.8% of them knew about the existence of prevention methods; pap smear was the most common known method of prevention. There was a statistically significant association between the respondent’s educational level and knowledge of the existence of cervical cancer prevention methods and the usage of pap smear. Only 16.3% of our study population has ever used a preventive method.

Conclusion: More than half of the participants were not aware of cervical cancer and its preventive methods, and those who were aware had insufficient knowledge, which translated to very low usage of cervical cancer preventive methods. There is an urgent need to intensify public education on cervical cancer.

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