Risk Awareness on Uterine Cancer among Australian Women

  • George, Mathew (School of Rural Medicine, University of New England) ;
  • Asab, Nihad Abu (School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle) ;
  • Varughese, Elizabeth (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital) ;
  • Irwin, Matthew (Hunter New England Health) ;
  • Oldmeadow, Christopher (Clinical Research Design IT and Statistical Support Unit (CReDITSS), Hunter Medical Research Institute, NSW) ;
  • Hollebone, Keith (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital) ;
  • Apen, Kenneth (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital) ;
  • Renner, Stefan (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nurnberg)
  • Published : 2015.01.06


Uterine cancer is the most common invasive gynaecological cancer in Australia. Early detection is a key predictive factor achieved by increasing public awareness and participation in screening. This observational study measures awareness of gynaecological malignancies, particularly uterine, among women in two rural areas of New South Wales, Australia. Patients presenting to gynaecology clinics in January to March 2014 were invited to complete a structured questionnaire. Women with a history of cancer and incomplete questionnaires were excluded. Of the 382 patients invited to participate, 329 (86%) responded with complete feedback. Most respondents were younger than than 50 years (66%) and married with at least 2 children (74%). The majority (94%) of participants had no awareness of uterine cancer and many (46%) were unable to identify common risk factors including obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The ability to identify risk factors was correlated to age, marital status and obesity. The study identifies poor awareness on uterine malignancies in two typical areas of rural Australia. Although external validity is limited by sociological factors, poor awareness of uterine cancer among rural patients in this study represents a valid public health concern. It is imperative to improve awareness of uterine cancer and available screening programs to facilitate early detection and cure.


Uterine cancer;risk awareness;gynaecology;gynaecological cancers;women;rural Australia


  1. Ackermann S, Renner SP, Fasching PA, et al (2005). Awareness of general and personal risk factors for uterine cancer among healthy women. Eur J Cancer Prev, 14, 519-24.
  2. AIHW 2012. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer series no. 66. Cat. no. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.
  3. AIHW and Cancer Australia (2012). Gynaecological cancers in australia: An overview. cancer series no. 70. Cat no. CAN 66. Canberra: AIHW.
  4. Al-Azri M, Al-Rasbi K, Al-Hinai M, et al (2014). Awareness of risk factors for cancer among omani adults: a community based study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 5401-6.
  5. Basu P, Hassan S, Fileeshia F, et al (2014). Knowledge, attitude and practices of women in maldives related to the risk factors, prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 6691-5.
  6. Boone JD, Erickson BK, Huh WK (2012). New insights into cervical cancer screening. J Gynecol Oncol, 23, 282-7.
  7. Goodall V (2001). A study of the prevalence of cervical smear testing within female patients of a North Cork practice, and their understanding of the nature of cervical screen testing. Irish Med J, 94, 23.
  8. Jo H, Kwon MS, Jung S, et al (2014). Awareness of cancer and cancer screening by Korean community residents. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 4939-44.
  9. Pande R, Leung E, McCullough P, et al (2014). Impact of the United Kingdom national bowel cancer awareness campaign on colorectal services. Diseases Colon Rectum, 57, 70-5.
  10. Sarkar M, Konar H, Raut D (2011). Knowledge and health careseeking behavior in relation to gynecological Malignancies in India: a study of the patients with gynecological malignancies in a tertiary care hospital of Kolkata. J Cancer Educ, 26, 348-54.
  11. Sule SaT, Shehu MS (2008). Cervical cancer management in Zaria, Nigeria. African J Health Sciences, 14, 149-53.
  12. Trivers KF, Rodriguez JL, Hawkins NA, et al (2011). Intention to seek care for symptoms associated with gynecologic cancers, health styles survey, 2008. Preventing chronic disease, 8, 1-9.
  13. Twinn S, Shiu A, Holroyd E (2002). Women's knowledge about cervical cancer and cervical screening practice: a pilot study of Hong Kong Chinese women. Cancer nursing, 25, 377-84.
  14. Ulman-Wlodarz I, Nowosielski K, Romanik M, et al (2011). (Awareness of cervical cancer prevention among patients of gynecological outpatient clinic). Ginekologia polska, 82, 22-5.
  15. Aareleid T, Thomson H, Pukkala E, et al (1993). Cervical cancer incidence and mortality trends in Finland and Estonia: a screened vs an unscreened population. Eur J Cancer, 29, 745-9.