Health Seeking Behaviours of Women with Cervical CancerGayle Langley1 and Nonhlanhla Mary2*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Nonhlanhla Mary-Immaculate Nkabinde
M.Sc Nursing University of Witwatersrand
P.O.Box 8849, Newcastle 2940, South Africa
Tel: (076) 569-3985/(034) 312-2378
Fax: (034) 312-2378
Received date: September 17, 2012; Accepted date: September 22, 2012; Published date: September 24, 2012
Citation: Langley G, Mary N (2012) Health Seeking Behaviours of Women with Cervical Cancer. J Community Med Health Educ 2:170. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000170
Copyright: © 2012 Langley G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa among Black women. It is one of the few cancers where screening can identify pre-cancerous lesions and where the association between screening and mortality decline has been demonstrated.
Objectives: An exploratory, descriptive survey was conducted at a Radiation Oncology Outpatient Department of a large academic hospital in Gauteng. The aim was to explore and describe the action patients had taken when they noticed symptoms, which they consulted, how many health care providers they saw before the diagnosis, their awareness of the Pap smear, the stage of the disease they presented with and to identify their predisposing factors.
Method: A systemic random sample was used to select patients who were returning for follow-up consultation after they had been diagnosed and treated for cancer of the cervix. Data were obtained using a questionnaire and were analysed by means of descriptive statistics.
Results and conclusion: Most of the participants were diagnosed at advanced stages of cervical cancer, 54% (n=65) at stage 2b and 22% (n=26) at stage 3b of cervical cancer Most went to a clinical facility when they noticed symptoms: 45% (n=55) to a hospital and 42% (n=52) to a clinic. Almost half of the respondents: 49% (n=57), did not know what caused the symptoms, a similar number (n=57) took some time to consult a clinician after noticing symptoms and 53 (n=60) knew what a Pap-smear was but had only had it done when they became ill. The study revealed that women’s general knowledge of cancer of the cervix is very poor. It was apparent that the health care facilities are effective in performing Pap smears as the majority of the participants saw only two health care providers before the diagnosis was made.