IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 4382: Analyzing Awareness on Risk Factors, Barriers and Prevention of Cervical Cancer among Pairs of Nepali High School Students and Their Mothers (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Providing information on increased cancer risks associated with certain behaviors might encourage adolescents to initiate protective behaviors. This study firstly determined the knowledge of risk factors and prevention of cervical cancer. Secondly, it checked an association between mothers’ screening practice and student’s knowledge. A descriptive, cross sectional study was conducted among 253 pairs of high school students and their mothers. Knowledge on cervical cancer was significantly lower among students and mothers. While cancer screening tests, maintenance of hygiene were considered as major preventive measures for cervical cancer, human papilloma vaccine was the least considered preventive measure. Students who were female, attended discussions on cancer and had a healthy diet had better awareness of cancer. Mothers of female students had better knowledge about cervical cancer than mothers of male students. Less perceived susceptibility and lack of knowledge were major obstacles among mothers, limiting cervical cancer screening to 15%. Although association between knowledge of students and screening practice of mothers was not clear, it was observed that cancer communication increased awareness of cervical cancer in both groups. Our findings showed a strong need for school-based cancer education program to address the issues of human papillomavirus vaccinations, cervical cancer risk and screening.