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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International quarterly of community health education
Title Low knowledge of cervical cancer and cervical Pap smears among women in Peru, and their ideas of how this could be improved
Volume 31
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 245-263
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784617/
Estimates of the percentage of women who have had Pap smears in Peru vary between 7% and 43%. This study explores what women know about cervical cancer and Pap smears, as well as their barriers to obtaining Pap smears. Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with a total of 177 women in four Peruvian cities. Discussions reveal that most women did not know what causes cervical cancer. Most women did not know the purpose of Pap smears, although knowledge about Pap smears was higher than knowledge about cervical cancer. Fear, embarrassment, and lack of knowledge were the main barriers identified for not getting Pap smears. Programs and policies aiming to increase Pap smear coverage must start by educating women on cervical cancer and its prevention in order to improve women's perceptions about the screening test and increase Pap smear seeking behaviors in the long term.

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