Knowledge and practice for cervical cancer among female primary school teachers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: A cross-sectional phonebased survey

Soeung SC, Komagata T, Darapheack C, Kikuchi S, Obara H, Haruyama R, Kanal K, Fujita N, Yanaihara N, Okamoto A, Kimura T


Cervical cancer is a cancer with evidence-based and cost-effective preventive measures; Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination for school girls and cancer screening for women. In Cambodia, cervical cancer accounts for an estimated 11.4% and 10.4% of women's cancer and deaths in 2020, respectively. This study aimed to identify the knowledge of cervical cancer, its information sources, and the experiences of cervical cancer screening among female primary school teachers, who are key influencers of HPV vaccination. A cross-sectional study was conducted using telephone interviews with 100 female primary school teachers in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. All 100 participants had heard of cervical cancer, 94 (94%) had heard of screening, and 49 (49%) had ever undergone a screening. When asked about their knowledge regarding cause(s), symptom(s), detection, and treatment(s) of cervical cancer, 31%, 44%, 35%, and 55% respondents said "Do not know". Those who did not reply "Do not know" were asked open-ended questions. Many of their answers were judged as “incorrect” by gynecologists. Consequently only 1%, 38%, 63% and 28% of respondents replied with at least one correct answer regarding cause(s), symptom(s), detection and treatment(s) respectively. The most common sources of information were family and friends, followed by doctors, television, and the Internet. Among female primary school teachers with an above-average educational level, their knowledge of cervical cancer was generally low. To promote cervical cancer prevention, it is necessary to provide correct knowledge in a broad and accessible manner through involvement of local medical doctors and healthcare providers.

KEYWORDS: cervical cancer, screening, knowledge, attitude and practice, Cambodia

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