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The  study  “ Assessing  women’s  knowledge  on the  prevention of  cervical  cancer” at Great Soppo  was  carried  out  in a period of two months ( February – April, 2019). The  study  population  was  one  hundred women  who were  assessed  through  well-structured  questionnaires  . The objectives  of the  study  were  to  investigate  women’s  knowledge   on the causes, and  preventive  measures  of  cervical  cancer.

Data was collected, analyzed and presented in tables and figures.  Results  obtained  show  that  84%  of  the  women  have  heard  of  cervical  cancer , 64%  could   define cervical  cancer  as  one arises  from  the  cells  lining the  cervix, 68%  identifies  pregnancy and  delivery  as a  cause, 61%  on the  signs and  symptoms,80% on complication  like  infertility.

It can  therefore be  concluded  that  even  though some of  the women  are  knowledgeable  as far as causes and  prevention of cervical cancer is concern, the  women  still have  to be  educated  so as to update knowledge full and limit the incidence and prevalence rate of this lethal disease.



1.0 Introduction

Cervical cancer is cancer arising from the cervix. It is  due to  the  abnormal  growth  of  cells  that have  the  ability  to  invade or  spread to other  parts  of the  body. At the early stage they are no symptoms ; some  later symptoms  may  include abnormal vaginal  bleeding, pelvic  pain or  pain  during  intercourse(Harvey , 2003).

Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection appears tobe involved in the development ofmore than 90% of cases. However, most  people  who  have  had  human  papilloma  virus  infections , do not  develop  cervical  cancer;  other risk  factors  include: smoking, a  weak  immune  system  , birth   control  pills and  having  multiple  sexual  partners.

( David, 2005) cervical  cancer  typically  develops  from  precancerous  cell  changes   over   10-20  years.About  90% of  cervical  cancer    cases  are  squamous  cell  carcinomas  while  10%  are adenocarcinoma and  a small number  are  other  types . Diagnosis is typically by screening followed by a biopsy. Medical imaging is then done to determine whether the cancer has spread or not.

For the  past  number  of  years cervical  cancer has been  focusing  its  research  efforts  on addressing  some of the key  national and  international  health  services  in relation to its incorporation .

According to Hildesheim et al., (2011), the age at which to start screening ranges between 20-30 years of age but not before 25 years and depends on the prevalence of the disease. In the United States, screening is recommended to begin at age 21, regardless of age at which a woman began having sex or other risk factors. Pap test should be done every three years between the ages of 21 and 65. (Kleinerman, 2010)

Pap smears have not been effective in Developing countries. This is because many of this countries have a poor health infrastructure, too few trained and skilled professionals to obtain and interpret pap smears. (Keng X, et al., 2012)

As the cancer metastasizes to other parts of the body, prognosis drops because treatment of local lesions is generally more effective than whole-body treatments such as chemotherapy.


Cervical  cancer  is the second  most common  cancer  in women  in the world  and  it  is  a major  cause of  mortality  in low  income  countries.  In order  to  be  able  to developed   screening  programs  in the  world,  it is  essential  to explore women’s perception  on the  diseases  (K. phongsavan,  2010).

Human papilloma  virus is a  very  common virus  which is  the  most  important  etiological  agent  in the  development  of cervical   cancer and  pre-cancer.  HPV is also implicated in other cancers including head, neck and vulva cancer.  Certain HPV sub- types are linked with cervical and pre-cancer. In particular  HPV  16  and  18  are known  to cause  70%  of all cancers  as  well as  cancers  of the  anus,  vulva, vagina  and  throat  (Martin, 2011)

Dr. George Papnicolaou’s screening method (The Pap Smear) started in the United States in the 1940s. It was widely used in the United Kingdom a decade later and a National Program on Cervical Screening was established in 1988. (Hernandez,2010)

Vaccines are availableto help prevent  infections  by  certain  types of  HPV and  some  of the  cancers  linked  to those types: Gardasil (R) Gardasil  9   and  cervix All of these vaccines help prevent infection by HPV 16 and HPV 18(Sally, 2014).

According to NjidekaAgbo, (2018) every two minute around the World,a woman dies of cervical cancer.

In 2017 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of Nigerian women suffering from cervical cancer annually totaled 14,089 making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

Sadly, this statistics is not only high in Nigeria. Up to 530,000 cases and 275,000 deaths are recorded in developing nations every year. Put together, this is 80% of the cervical cases in the World. This is quite unfortunate knowing that this type of cancer can be avoided before it becomes full blown.

Cervical  cancer  prevention  strategies  in Ireland  and elsewhere  over  the past  decades  have been  evolving  toadapt  to these  changes. Forexample in Ireland, a HPV school based vaccinationprogram as introduced in 2010. Moreover, the national  cervical  screeningprogramme, cervical  checks , have  adopted  HPV  testing  into  its  cervical  screening  protocols . changes  to screening  protocols  (HPV testing)  and  practices ( HPV  vaccination),  raises  several  challenges  for  cervical  screening  program  (WinerRLet al., 2006)

In addition, HPV  testing  now  plays  an important  role  in cervical  cancer  prevention in both  vaccinated and non-  vaccinated  women (Harvey, 2010).

1.2. Statement of problem

Cancer of the cervix is one of the leading disease that causes death among women in the Developed and developing countries if not diagnosed early enough. This condition is as devastating as it raises sexual problems (dyspareumia) and post-coital bleeding), infertility, miscarriages, just to name a few. More so, the social life of the woman will be affected; her relationship with her spouse will be strained because of some of the sexual problems raised by the disease. This also brings about low self-esteem of the infected woman among her friends.

Economically, the productivity of the woman is reduced because of ill health. With the advent of these eminent problems, the researcher decided to carry out a research on Women’s knowledge aged 15-59 on the prevention of cervical cancer.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. Do women know the causes of cervical cancer?
  2. Do women know how to prevent cervical cancer?
  3. What are some of the challenges faced with respect to cervical cancer prevention?

1.4 Objectives of the study

1.4.1. General objectives

To assess women’s knowledge on the prevention of cervical cancer

1.4.2Specific objectives

  1. To assess women’s knowledge on the causes of cervical cancer
  2. To find out the different measures used by women to prevent cervical cancer.
  3. To identify the challenges faced with respect to cervical cancer prevention
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