Awareness of General and Personal Risk Factors for Uterine Cancer Among Healthy Women - A Rural Australian Study (#264)
Uterine cancers are the most common invasive gynaecological cancers in Australia. Early detection of premalignant and malignant uterine conditions is one of the most important factors in successful treatment of cancer patients. An important aspect of early detection and cancer prevention is public awareness of the disease in the female population, and participation in cancer screening
We conducted an observational awareness study among patients who attended the general gynaecology clinics in two rural areas, Viz., Tamworth and Armidale, NSW, Australia. 339 patients were invited to answer an anonymous paper based structured questionnaire (Uterine Cancer Awareness Study). Women with history of cancer have been excluded from the study.
329 patients participated. The combined response rate of the survey from two centers was 86%. The majority of the respondents belonged to the age category above 50 years, and were married having more than 2 children. 63% of the sample had no information about Gynecological Cancer. 46% had no awareness about the risk of Uterine cancer. Only 40% of them considered Obesity, Diabetes and Hypertension as the risk factors for endometrial cancer. Majority of the participants responded that Endometrial cancer had a higher chance of cure (72%). Younger women responded as genetic factors(70%) and history of breast cancer(60%) as risk factors for endometrial cancer compared to older women. Risk identification ability of the participants was found to be positively correlated with age, marital status, parity and obesity.
Conclusion : Awareness of gynaecological cancer among patients attending gynaecologic clinics in rural area appears to be poor . Although the study results cannot be extended to the general population,poor awareness among patients themselves raises serious concerns about awareness in public. It is imperative to educate the public and raise its awareness about these conditions in order to optimise the value of early detection.