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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1988 August; 38(313): 356–359.
PMCID: PMC1711521

Prophylactic cytological investigation for cervical cancer in relation to stage at diagnosis: a study of 420 women in Denmark


Despite widespread cervical smear testing 500-600 cases of cancer of the cervix are still diagnosed each year in Denmark, with over 200 deaths. The distribution of the different stages of cancer among 420 women who were diagnosed during 1983 was correlated with the number of previous cervical smears, whether done purely for screening reasons or for minor gynaecological problems. Of the women with cancer 56% had never been screened, and among these 42% were diagnosed at stage 1; 19% had been screened once; 61% of them at stage 1. The remainder (25%) had been screened at least twice, and 81% of them were diagnosed at stage 1. Among the patients who had been screened at least twice, with the last screening not more than three or five years ago, about 90% were diagnosed at stage 1 and the rest at stage 2.

The introduction of cervical smear testing will thus mean a considerably better stage distribution among cases which develop invasive cancer of the cervix, and both case fatality and mortality rates will be reduced by organized programmes, which have better participation rates than disorganized use of cervical smears.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Lără E, Day NE, Hakama M. Trends in mortality from cervical cancer in the Nordic countries: association with organised screening programmes. Lancet. 1987 May 30;1(8544):1247–1249. [PubMed]
  • Olesen F. Use of Pap smear in general practice by case finding or screening programme. Scand J Prim Health Care. 1986 Feb;4(1):59–62. [PubMed]
  • Sasco AJ, Day NE, Walter SD. Case-control studies for the evaluation of screening. J Chronic Dis. 1986;39(5):399–405. [PubMed]
  • Paterson ME, Peel KR, Joslin CA. Cervical smear histories of 500 women with invasive cervical cancer in Yorkshire. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984 Oct 6;289(6449):896–898. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Carmichael JA, Jeffrey JF, Steele HD, Ohlke ID. The cytologic history of 245 patients developing invasive cervical carcinoma. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1984 Mar 1;148(5):685–690. [PubMed]
  • Lynge E. Geografiske forskelle i cervix-cytologisk aktivitet og cervixcancerincidens 1943-1982. Ugeskr Laeger. 1984 Nov 5;146(45):3477–3482. [PubMed]

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