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Background: Cervical cancer is the most common cause of female genital cancer and female cancer deaths in developing countries such as Nigeria. The most recent government estimates put the number of new cases at 25,000 per year. According to the latest global estimates, 493, 000 new cases occur each year and 274,000 women die of the disease annually. This study therefore determined the awareness, knowledge and use of cervical cancer screening services among rural women in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Method: A cross sectional, descriptive study design was adopted and a total of 400 women were studied. Data was collected using a structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire elicited information about socio-demographic characteristics, awareness, knowledge and use of screening services. Univariate and bivariate analyses were done with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. Significance level at 5%
Results: Age range of study participants was 25-65years and a mean age of 38.9± 9.51 years. Most of the respondents (85.0%)were not aware of cervical cancer. However, amongst those who were aware of cervical cancer, 66.7% got the information from the media. Only a few (13.3%) of the respondents have ever been screened and none of the screening was in the last 3 years. Majority (86.7%) of the respondents expressed willingness to undergo cervical cancer screening.
Conclusion: There was low awareness of cervical cancer and screening uptake among the respondents and the overall knowledge was equally poor. However, the respondents showed a strong willingness for screening. There is need for community education and awareness among the rural women at large as this would engender a more positive attitude and increased use of screening services.