A study on awareness of cervical cancer and human papilloma virus vaccine among the women’s degree college students in Nandyal

Ganesam Krishna Kumari, Mohammed Mushtaq Pasha, Afasar Fatima


Background: In India cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality in women after carcinoma breast. Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the principal causative agent for cervical cancer. FDA approved 2 vaccines for primary prevention, and is available in India, but is not part of National Immunization Programme. Due to societal, religious and ethical issues associated with the vaccination of adolescent girls in India together with lack of awareness about HPV and HPV vaccines, no successful HPV immunization program has been employed in India. To study the awareness of Degree college students on cervical cancer and HPV vaccine.

Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted at SPY REDDY Women’s Degree College, Nandyal from 16th December 2018 to 15th February 2019. The participants were 327 Degree students of first to final year. Students who were not present during the study were excluded from the study. The data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire. The data was analysed by using spss version 24 and the results expressed as proportions.

Results: The mean age of participants was 19.53±1.26 years. 89% of the students were unmarried and 11% were married. 46.4% of the students were aware of cervical cancer. Poor genital hygiene (11.2%), smoking and alcohol (5.8%), multiple sex partners (4.3%), sex at an early age (3.4%), long term OCP usage (2.5%) were considered as risk factors for cervical cancer by the students. 18.4% of the students had knowledge about HPV virus. Among the students who knew about cervical cancer, 22.3% of the students responded as vaginal bleeding after menopause is a symptom of cervical cancer, 8.1% responded as bleeding during or after sex, 3.4% as pain during sex, 1.6% as severe low backache. Only 1% knows about Pap smear. Only 12% know about the vaccine. Only 4% correctly knew the vaccine eligibility. None of the students were HPV vaccinated.

Conclusions: The level of awareness of students about cervical cancer and HPV vaccine is far below for effective vaccination and prevention of carcinoma cervix. More effective awareness programmes are needed to screen early for cervical cancer and vaccinate & prevent the high mortality from carcinoma cervix.


Cervical cancer, HPV virus, Pap smear, HPV vaccine

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