Early detection and treatment via screening can prevent up to 80% of cervical cancers in developed countries, where efficient screening programs are in place. In developing countries, however, there is limited access to effective, wide-scale screening, leading to increased deaths due to cervical cancer. Despite sufficient evidence supporting the use of screening as an effective intervention, there are still a few large-scale screening programs being implemented in India. This systematic review examined the current literature on knowledge and attitudes regarding cervical cancer and barriers to screening for cervical cancer among women in India. Consistent themes were found throughout the literature – the story is the same not only in India but throughout the developing world. In urban and rural areas alike, most women have heard of cervical cancer, yet there is a shockingly low uptake of screening for cervical cancer. This low uptake of cervical cancer screening can be attributed to a number of factors, as demonstrated by the literature, including low level of knowledge and awareness, low level of perceived risk, stigma associated with cancer, fear of cancer, cost, and familial obligations. India has an urgent need to develop health system capacity to ensure efficient cervical cancer screening programs and community-level efforts to improve knowledge about cervical cancer and screening programs. This effort would help save thousands of young women and their families from a great calamity.
To cite this article
Knowledge, attitudes, and barriers to screening for cervical cancer among women in India: a review
Submission date: 07 Jan 2020
Revised on: 21 Jan 2020
Accepted on: 04 Feb 2020
Published online: 28 Feb 2020
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