Nigerian Medical Journal

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76--79

Awareness of papanicolaou smear and visual inspection with acetic acid as screening tools for cervical cancer among women attending the general outpatient clinic of a Tertiary Institution in North Central Nigeria


Ezekiel Agu Tomen1, Stephen Yohanna2, Rose Ezioma Obilom1 
1 Department of Family Medicine, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Medicine, Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ezekiel Agu Tomen
Department of Family Medicine, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State
Nigeria

Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and the leading cause of cancer deaths in developing countries. Knowledge and awareness of the disease in Africa are very poor, and mortality from the disease is still very high. Screening in most developing countries is mainly opportunistic. This study was undertaken to determine the level of awareness of Papanicolaou (Pap) smear and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) as screening methods for cervical cancer to assist in the early diagnosis of the disease. Materials and Methods: This hospital-based, descriptive, cross-sectional study involved women aged 21–65 years who attended the general outpatient clinic of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, either as patients or patients' relatives during the study period. A simple random sampling technique was used to recruit 239 participants using the Leslie Kish formula. Data collected about the participants included sociodemographic background, gynecologic and other relevant medical histories, awareness of cervical cancer, and awareness of Pap smear and VIA as screening tests for cervical cancer. The results were reported as frequencies and percentages only. Results: Only 28 (11.7%) study participants had heard about cervical cancer and only 10 (4.2%) were aware of Pap smear as a screening test for cervical cancer. None of the participants were aware of VIA as a screening test for cervical cancer. Conclusion: This study revealed that the level of awareness about cervical cancer among the study participants was low. No participant was aware of VIA as a screening method for cervical cancer, but a small percentage of the participants were aware of Pap smear test. It is recommended that efforts should be intensified to improve the awareness of population at risk of cervical cancer.


How to cite this article:
Tomen EA, Yohanna S, Obilom RE. Awareness of papanicolaou smear and visual inspection with acetic acid as screening tools for cervical cancer among women attending the general outpatient clinic of a Tertiary Institution in North Central Nigeria.Niger Med J 2019;60:76-79


How to cite this URL:
Tomen EA, Yohanna S, Obilom RE. Awareness of papanicolaou smear and visual inspection with acetic acid as screening tools for cervical cancer among women attending the general outpatient clinic of a Tertiary Institution in North Central Nigeria. Niger Med J [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 14 ];60:76-79
Available from: http://www.nigeriamedj.com/article.asp?issn=0300-1652;year=2019;volume=60;issue=2;spage=76;epage=79;aulast=Tomen;type=0