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Background: Penile carcinoma is a rare and often late-diagnosed malignancy associated with advanced-stage presentation and poor prognosis. Health literacy, the ability to understand and apply health information, is crucial in healthcare-seeking behavior and early diagnosis.
Methods: This cross-sectional study, conducted over 12 months at a tertiary care center, included 150 patients diagnosed with penile carcinoma. Patient literacy was categorized into four levels based on educational background. Data on demographic and clinical variables, such as age, smoking status, circumcision status, HPV infection, and the time to medical consultation, were collected. The TNM classification system was used to determine the disease stage.
Results: Lower patient literacy levels were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of advanced-stage penile carcinoma presentation (p < 0.001). Patients with limited literacy, particularly those with "No Education," exhibited longer delays in seeking medical attention, contributing to the advanced stage at diagnosis. Additional factors, such as circumcision status and the time to medical attention, were also linked to disease stage.
Discussion: This study underscores the critical role of health literacy, categorized into distinct educational levels, in penile carcinoma presentation. Patients with lower literacy levels face barriers to recognizing symptoms and seeking timely medical attention, ultimately resulting in advanced-stage diagnosis. The findings highlight the need for tailored health education and awareness campaigns, especially in communities with varying educational backgrounds.
Conclusion: Patient literacy is associated with advanced-stage penile carcinoma presentation. Addressing disparities in health literacy and promoting awareness of penile carcinoma symptoms may enhance early diagnosis and treatment outcomes. The study emphasizes the multifaceted nature of cancer risk factors, underlining the importance of considering cultural and healthcare-related elements in future research and public health efforts.
[Chengalvarayan G. and Patravale T.B (2023); A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY EVALUATING THE ASSOCIATION OF PATIENT LITERACY WITH THE STAGE OF PENILE CARCINOMA Int. J. of Adv. Res. 11 (Oct). 196-200] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com
Resident, Institute of Urology, Madras Medical College, Chennai, India
Article DOI: 10.21474/IJAR01/17696
DOI URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.21474/IJAR01/17696
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