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Introduction: In India, cervical cancer is the most common woman-related cancer, killing 1 woman every 8 minutes. Cervical cancer is more common in women who do not have a Pap test regularly. Secondary prevention achieved through Pap smear testing is the single most effective tool in reducing deaths due to cervical cancer. Scores of women in India fail to carry out this important test till today. In spite of the high incidence of cervical cancer reported from India, to the best of our knowledge, studies on assessing the knowledge and attitude of this test among women has been scanty. Hence, this study has been undertaken.

Objective: The aims of this study are to explore the knowledge of Pap test among women and the association between symptomatology and reasons for availing the Pap test.

Methods: The study was performed among 251 women aged between 20 and 65 years. The data was collected through a questionnaire containing their personal details and knowledge of the test. The same was tabulated.

Results: The study, conducted over a period of 2 months in a tertiary care urban center, revealed that 80.1% of the subjects were not even aware of the term “Cervical Cancer” and a mere 11.6% were aware of the lifesaving Pap smear test. 36.6% of the subjects experienced one of the cardinal symptoms of cervical cancer while only 2% approached the doctor to avail the test. The remaining underwent it on recommendation by the doctor.

Conclusion: This study will increase awareness of the Pap test and cervical cancer, thereby paving a way for the prevention of cancer of the cervix.


Cervical cancer, Papanicolaou test, tertiary care center, awareness

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Financial Disclosure

As this research project is a part of ICMR STS 2013, the student has received an amount of Rs10,000 INR as scholarship. This study’s funder played no role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. The researchers were independent from the funders. Any Short Term Student (STS) Project of ICMR are permitted for publication as per their rules with due acknowledgement to them.


Copyright © 2015 Megha Prakash, Dr. Jyothi G.S, and Dr. Murthy N.S.

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