Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate factors affecting the participation of women in gynecological cancer screening.
Methods: This study was conducted with female patients between ages 30-65 registered at the Bağlaraltı Family Health Center, affiliated with the Bursa provincial Public Health Directorate, between August 2018 and December 2018. It was performed with 214 female patients between ages 30-65 following evaluations of the patients registered with the Bağlaraltı Training FHC who did or did not participate in cancer screenings. A questionnaire examining sociodemographic, gynecologic and obstetric features of the female patients and the HL-EU-Q16 scale evaluating patients’ health literacies were used in this research.
Results: From the results of our study, HL-EU-Q16 scale scores were found to be higher for participants who had a pap-smear test in compliance with the guidelines. 63% of the participants had breast cancer screening with mammography, whereas 19% underwent breast cancer screening in compliance with the guidelines. 36.90% did not have breast cancer screening with mammography. When asked about the reasons for not having this done, most of them answered as not finding it necessary, age factor or not being informed about the screening test. In this current study, factors affecting participation in mammography screening were found to be presence of chronic disease, breast self-examination and presence of suspicious lesions in previous tests. Another result of our study was that 70.50% of the participants underwent cervical cancer screening with a pap-smear test, whereas 11.70% of them had pap-smear screening in compliance with the guidelines. On the other hand, 29.40% did not have cervical cancer screening with a pap-smear test. When asked about the reasons for not having this done, most of them answered as not believing in its necessity, not being informed about it or thinking that they wouldn’t have cervical cancer.
Conclusions: Pap-smear testing among gynecologic cancer screenings was found to be associated with women’s health literacy. Having a mammogram was associated with the detection of a suspicious lesion in the past. Regular participation of patients in cancer screenings is limited. Regular examination in case of suspicious lesions or complaints was for diagnostic purposes rather than screening. Efforts must be exerted to make up the deficiency on this issue.