Cervical cancer is a leading cause of dead among women in Africa and Cameroon in particular. It is cancer of the lower portion of the
uterus, just above the vagina. Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus which is transmitted mostly through sexual intercourse.
We aimed at finding the reasons why this cancer very common among women in Africa and Cameroon in particular and also to find out if
Cameroonian women are aware of the disease using a cross sectional designed study. We found out that more than 50% of the women never
knew or have never heard nor screened for cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed
cancer after breast cancer and the third leading cause of cancer
death among females in under developed countries. Incidence
rates are the highest in countries with low income. Nearly 90% of
cervical cancer deaths occurred in developing parts of the world
. Cervical cancer has emerged to become a major public health
concern in the 21st century, alongside HIV/AIDS . A crosssectional
study was conducted in 6 regions in Cameroon found
a national prevalence is 3.9% and also found a low awareness
level of the disease . A study carried out in schools and clinics
in the North West Region of Cameroon revealed an awareness of
cervical cancer, preventive measures, screening method and HPV
vaccination of above 70% .
A cross sectional study among 433 women in the Buea Health
District, Fako Division in the South West Region. Questionnaires
were given and analyzed almost immediately and the results
presented in frequency distribution tables.
The various frequencies beside each option refer to the
number of participants who responded to the question. Using
descriptive statistics, about 57.8% (95%CI=46%-55.37) of the
study population had heard of cervical cancer (Table 2).
In our study, we recruited 433 participants. Our age range was
18 to 68 years, which was similar to  in Nigeria, with an age
range of 16 to 65 years. The mean age of the study population was
30.5 years, with a modal age of 21years. However, this was higher
than the mean age of 21.5 years obtained by Hoque E  in South
Africa. Majority of our participants (98.8%) were Christians and
single; this was similar to other studies carried out in other parts
57.8% of the participants had heard of cervical cancer in the
past. This is slightly lower than that carried out by Wamai RG, et
al. , revealed an awareness of cervical cancer, of above 70%. The
high awareness of cervical cancer among these women could be
due to the fact that they are within an Urban area, and thus can
easily access information from the internet, mass media, and press
prints. Our findings were however higher than the 33% obtained
by Hoque E  among female undergraduate students in South
Africa. Most of our participants (68%) had heard about cervical
cancer from mass media. This was similar to results obtained by
Wright KO  in Lagos Nigeria , and by Abotchie PN  in Ghana.
NCN and SNC conceived and designed the study. NCN
implemented the study. NCN conducted data analysis. NCN and
SNC interpreted study results: NCN wrote the first draft of the
manuscript. SNC reviewed and corrected the draft manuscript. All
authors read and approved the final manuscript.