Cervical cancer affects women globally especially those in their reproductive years and in the low income countries. It is the second most common cancer among women in Nigeria. Early detection through regular cervical screening has proven to be a reliable way of containing the disease, yet, there was low uptake of cervical cancer screening services in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to determine the factors influencing the utilization of cervical cancer screening services by women of child bearing age in Oraifite community, South-Eastern Nigeria. Descriptive study design was employed for the study and sample size of 400 was drawn from the target population of 15,955 women of child bearing age in the study area. The sample was drawn using the multistage sampling technique. Instrument for data collection was structured questionnaire and the data collected were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The result showed that most of the respondents 368(92.0%) had never heard of cervical cancer screening though, majority was aware of cervical cancer disease. More respondents, 69.5percent had positive perception to cancer screening. More respondents 122(30.5%) noted that fear of the outcome of the screening exercise posed a barrier to the uptake of the service, while another 25.3percent posits that lack of screening centers was a major challenge to accessing the service. Mother’s and husband’s opinion were rated as having higher influence on the decision of the respondent to utilize cervical cancer screening service. Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, perception and influence of significant others were significantly related to utilization of cervical screening services (p< 0.001). Uptake of cervical cancer screening by women in the Oraifite community was influenced negatively by multiple factors which should be addressed using appropriate strategies, to enable women take advantage of this important preventive action.
Keywords: Cervical, cancer, screening, women, child-bearing, Nigeria