Cervical cancer is a cell growth and spread in a rapid uncontrolled way at the cervical area1. It is caused by the disease with some types of HPV and today, more than 120 different HPV types have been identified. In the world, 80% of cervical cancer is caused by four high-risk strains (HPV-16, -18, -31 and -45)2. Females are infected by performing sexual contact with individuals who have a disease2. Early onset of sexual activities, multiple sexual partners, longer use of oral contraceptives, immune-suppression, and smoking3 are other known risk factors. The spread of diseases is very high among young sexually active adult females with high Prevalence in women of the age of 22-25 years. A Vaginal bleeding, contact bleeding, or a vaginal secretion may show the happening of malignancy2. Cervical cancer is one of the most easily preventable forms of female cancers. A key aspect of its prevention is the identification of the premalignant form by cervical screening 4.
Lack of knowledge about cervical cancer and risk factors, beliefs about cervical cancer, poor access to preventive services, the supply of the service, and current health service system are the barrier to the decision to be screened for cervical cancer 5. Effective principles should be applied for cervical cancer screening and treatment in developing nations 6.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the developing world and is responsible for 230,200 deaths and 444,500 cases annually7. However, it is largely preventable through screening, immunization, early detection and prompt treatment of detected precancerous lesions, and risk-free practice 8.
The rates of cervical cancer in developed countries are 5 per 100 000 women compared with 25 per 100 000 in low-resource countries. The high mortality rates are due to the advanced stage at presentation, affected women being unable to complete therapy, lack of available treatment, and unaffordable therapy 9. In sub-Saharan Africa, 34.8 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed per 100,000 women every year, and 22.5 per 100,000 women death reported by the disease. This is higher compared with 6.6 and 2.5 per 100 000 women in North America respectively. The differences result from low preventive health behavior, lack of access to effective screening services that facilitate early detection and treatment 2.
In Ethiopia, cervical cancer ranks as the most frequent cancer among women. About 33.6% of women are estimated to have cervical cancer infection at a given time 10. In 2010, it was estimated that 20.9 million women were at risk of developing cervical cancer in Ethiopia, with an estimated 4,648 and 3,235 annual numbers of new cases and deaths, respectively. Low coverage of cervical cancer screening is a serious problem and a major barrier in reducing the mortality and morbidity in the developing countries 11. Lack of knowledge and poor attitude towards the disease and risk factors can also affect screening practice and development of preventive behavior for cervical cancer. The present study will provide the data on KAP towards cervical cancer screening as well as prevention and control among University of Gondar College of Medicine and Health Science undergraduate female students, Gondar, Ethiopia.