Knowledge, Risk Factors and Perceived Attitude towards Cervical Cancer among Female Tertiary Students in the Tano-North Municipality in Ghana

Philip Narteh Gorleku, Jacob Setorglo, Sebastian Ken Amoah, Albert Piersson, Wasiya Mutawakilu


Ghana is among the countries with high incidence rate of cervical cancer in the world. Knowledge of the risk factors and the aetiology of cancers, especially, cervical cancer leads to reduction in cancer incidence and prevalence. This study assesses the knowledge, risk factors and perceived preventive methods about cervical cancer of tertiary students in the Tano-North Municipality of Ahafo region of Ghana. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on 150 randomly sampled students. The age range was between 15 to 35 years with the 18-35-years old. A total of 59.3% of respondents were not aware that, early sexual intercourse is a risk factor, and 78%, 64% and 90.7% of the respondents did not know that smoking cigarette, use of oral contraceptives and stress, respectively are risks of cervical cancer. Respondents also showed poor knowledge on preventive methods with only 32%, 25% 24%, 57.3% and 34% acknowledged that delay in age of first sexual contact, regular exercise, non-smoking, HPV vaccine and Pap smear respectively were preventive methods of cervical cancer. Thus, the respondents displayed poor knowledge about the risk factors and preventive methods of cervical cancer and therefore, tertiary education curriculum should include cancer awareness to reduce the incidence.

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