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1.  Cervical Cancer Screening among University Students in South Africa: A Theory Based Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111557.
Introduction
Cervical cancer is a serious public health problem in South Africa. Even though the screening is free in health facilities in South Africa, the Pap smear uptake is very low. The objective of the study is to investigate the knowledge and beliefs of female university students in South Africa.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted among university women in South Africa to elicit information about knowledge and beliefs, and screening history.
Results
A total of 440 students completed the questionnaire. The average age of the participants was 20.39 years (SD  = 1.71 years). Regarding cervical cancer, 55.2% (n = 243) had ever heard about it. Results indicated that only 15% (22/147) of the students who had ever had sex and had heard about cervical cancer had taken a Pap test. Pearson correlation analysis showed that cervical cancer knowledge had a significantly negative relationship with barriers to cervical cancer screening. Susceptibility and seriousness score were significantly moderately correlated with benefit and motivation score as well as barrier score. Self-efficacy score also had a moderate correlation with benefit and motivation score. Students who had had a Pap test showed a significantly lower score in barriers to being screened compared to students who had not had a Pap test.
Conclusion
This study showed that educated women in South Africa lack complete information on cervical cancer. Students who had had a Pap test had significantly lower barriers to cervical cancer screening than those students who had not had a Pap test.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111557
PMCID: PMC4227671  PMID: 25387105
2.  Cervical Screening at Age 50–64 Years and the Risk of Cervical Cancer at Age 65 Years and Older: Population-Based Case Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001585.
Peter Sasieni and colleagues use a population-based case control study to assess the risk of cervical cancer in screened women aged over 65 years to help inform policy on the upper age of cervical cancer screening.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
There is little consensus, and minimal evidence, regarding the age at which to stop cervical screening. We studied the association between screening at age 50–64 y and cervical cancer at age 65–83 y.
Methods and Findings
Cases were women (n = 1,341) diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 65–83 y between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2012 in England and Wales; age-matched controls (n = 2,646) were randomly selected from population registers. Screening details from 1988 onwards were extracted from national databases. We calculated the odds ratios (OR) for different screening histories and subsequent cervical cancer. Women with adequate negative screening at age 65 y (288 cases, 1,395 controls) were at lowest risk of cervical cancer (20-y risk: 8 cancers per 10,000 women) compared with those (532 cases, 429 controls) not screened at age 50–64 y (20-y risk: 49 cancers per 10,000 women, with OR = 0.16, 95% CI 0.13–0.19). ORs depended on the age mix of women because of the weakening association with time since last screen: OR = 0.11, 95% CI 0.08–0.14 at 2.5 to 7.5 y since last screen; OR = 0.27, 95% CI 0.20–0.36 at 12.5 to 17.5 y since last screen. Screening at least every 5.5 y between the ages 50 and 64 y was associated with a 75% lower risk of cervical cancer between the ages 65 and 79 y (OR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.21–0.30), and the attributable risk was such that in the absence of screening, cervical cancer rates in women aged 65+ would have been 2.4 (95% CI 2.1–2.7) times higher. In women aged 80–83 y the association was weaker (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.28–0.83) than in those aged 65–69 y (OR = 0.12, 95% CI 0.09–0.17). This study was limited by an absence of data on confounding factors; additionally, findings based on cytology may not generalise to human papillomavirus testing.
Conclusions
Women with adequate negative screening at age 50–64 y had one-sixth of the risk of cervical cancer at age 65–83 y compared with women who were not screened. Stopping screening between ages 60 and 69 y in women with adequate negative screening seems sensible, but further screening may be justifiable as life expectancy increases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Nearly one in ten cancers diagnosed in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, more than a quarter of a million women (mostly in developing countries) die because of cervical cancer, which occurs only after the cervix has been infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. In the earliest stages of cervical cancer, abnormal cells begin to grow in the cervix. Cells with low-grade abnormalities (changes that often revert to normal), cells with high-grade abnormalities (which are more likely to become cancerous), and cancer cells can all be detected by collecting a few cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope. This test forms the basis of cervical screening, which has greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in countries with a national screening program by ensuring that cervical abnormalities are detected at an early, treatable stage. In the UK, for example, since the start of a cervical screening program in 1988 in which women aged 25–64 years are called for testing every 3–5 years, the incidence of cervical cancer (the number of new cases per year) has almost halved at a time when sexually transmitted diseases have more than doubled.
Why Was This Study Done?
Currently, there is little consensus about the age at which cervical screening should stop, and minimal evidence about the impact of cervical screening on the incidence of cervical cancer in older women. In this population-based case control study (a study that compares the characteristics of all the cases of a disease in a population with the characteristics of matched individuals without the disease), the researchers examine the association between screening in women aged 50–64 years and cervical cancer in women aged 65–83 years. They ask whether well-screened women with a history of negative results and no evidence of high-grade abnormalities are at sufficiently low risk of cervical cancer that screening can be stopped at age 65 years, and whether women who are regularly screened (at least once every 5.5 years) between the ages of 50 and 64 years are subsequently at reduced risk of cervical cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly selected two age-matched controls for every woman aged 65–83 years who was diagnosed with cervical cancer between 2007 and 2012 in England and Wales. The researchers included 1,341 women with cervical cancer and 2,646 controls. They extracted each woman's cervical screening details from national databases and calculated the association between screening history and subsequent cervical cancer. Women with adequate negative screening at age 65 years (at least three tests at age 50–64 years with the last one over age 60, the last three of which were negative, and no evidence of high-grade abnormalities) were at the lowest risk of cervical cancer (20-year risk of eight cancers per 10,000 women) compared with unscreened women (20-year risk of 49 cancers per 10,000 women). That is, women who were not screened at age 50–64 years were six times more likely to develop cervical cancer between the ages of 65 and 83 years than women who were screened. The risk of developing cervical cancer among adequately negatively screened women increased with age and with time since the last screen. Finally, the researchers estimate that in the absence of any cervical screening, the rate of cervical cancer among women aged 65–79 years would be 23 cases per 100,000 woman-years, 2.4 times higher than the current rate.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that women who exited the screening program in England and Wales with a history of adequate negative screening between the ages of 50 and 64 years were at a very low risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 65 years or older. The “protection” provided by screening was greatest for women aged 65–69 years and decreased steadily with increasing age and with time since the last negative screen. Because the researchers did not have any information on other characteristics that might have affected cervical cancer risk (for example, number of sexual partners), the women who were screened may have shared other characteristics that reduced their risk of developing cervical cancer. Moreover, these findings, which are based on microscopic examination of cells, may not generalise to the HPV-based screening programs that many countries are considering. Despite these limitations, the researchers conclude that, for now, it seems sensible to continue screening at least until age 60 years and not beyond age 69 years in women with adequate negative screening, but that given increasing life expectancy, screening in older women might be justified in the future.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001585.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Anne Rositch and colleagues
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on cervical screening (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about cervical screening
The UK National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme website has detailed information and statistics on cervical screening in England
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer (including a personal story about cervical cancer) and on cervical screening (including personal comments about screening)
Cancer Research UK provides detailed information about all aspects of cervical cancer
More information about cervical cancer and screening is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer and screening (in English and Spanish)
Personal stories about cervical cancer and about cervical screening are available through the charity Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001585
PMCID: PMC3891624  PMID: 24453946
3.  Knowledge and Beliefs about Cervical Cancer Screening Among Men in Kumasi, Ghana 
Ghana Medical Journal  2012;46(3):147-151.
Summary
Introduction
The age-standardized mortality rate for cervical cancer in Ghana, West Africa is more than three times the global cervical cancer mortality rate (27.6/100,000 vs. 7.8/100,000 respectively). The Pap test and visual inspection with acetic acid are available at public and private hospitals in Ghana. Approximately, 2.7% of Ghanaian women obtain cervical cancer screenings regularly. Men in middle-income countries play a key role in cervical cancer prevention. Increasing spousal support for cervical cancer screening may increase screening rates in Ghana.
Methods
Five focus groups were conducted with Ghanaian men (N = 29) to assess their cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening knowledge and beliefs. The qualitative data was analyzed via indexed coding.
Results
Targets for education interventions were identified including inaccurate knowledge about cervical cancer and stigmatizing beliefs about cervical cancer risk factors. Cultural taboos regarding women's health care behaviours were also identified. Several participants indicated that they would be willing to provide spousal support for cervical cancer screening if they knew more about the disease and the screening methods.
Conclusions
Men play a significant role in the health behaviours of some Ghanaian women. Cervical cancer education interventions targeting Ghanaian men are needed to correct misconceptions and increase spousal support for cervical cancer screening.
PMCID: PMC3645156  PMID: 23661828
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/Prevention and Control; Ghana; Focus Groups; Health Knowledge; Attitudes; Practice; Male
4.  Influences on uptake of reproductive health services in Nsangi community of Uganda and their implications for cervical cancer screening 
Background
Cervical cancer is the most common female cancer in Uganda. Over 80% of women diagnosed or referred with cervical cancer in Mulago national referral and teaching hospital have advanced disease. Plans are underway for systematic screening programmes based on visual inspection, as Pap smear screening is not feasible for this low resource country. Effectiveness of population screening programmes requires high uptake and for cervical cancer, minimal loss to follow up. Uganda has poor indicators of reproductive health (RH) services uptake; 10% postnatal care attendance, 23% contraceptive prevalence, and 38% skilled attendance at delivery. For antenatal attendance, attendance to one visit is 90%, but less than 50% for completion of care, i.e. three or more visits.
Methods
We conducted a qualitative study using eight focus group discussions with a total of 82 participants (16 men, 46 women and 20 health workers). We aimed to better understand factors that influence usage of available reproductive health care services and how they would relate to cervical cancer screening, as well as identify feasible interventions to improve cervical cancer screening uptake.
Results
Barriers identified after framework analysis included ignorance about cervical cancer, cultural constructs/beliefs about the illness, economic factors, domestic gender power relations, alternative authoritative sources of reproductive health knowledge, and unfriendly health care services. We discuss how these findings may inform future planned screening programmes in the Ugandan context.
Conclusion
Knowledge about cervical cancer among Ugandan women is very low. For an effective cervical cancer-screening programme, awareness about cervical cancer needs to be increased. Health planners need to note the power of the various authoritative sources of reproductive health knowledge such as paternal aunts (Sengas) and involve them in the awareness campaign. Cultural and economic issues dictate the perceived reluctance by men to participate in women's reproductive health issues; men in this community are, however, potential willing partners if appropriately informed. Health planners should address the loss of confidence in current health care units, as well as consider use of other cervical cancer screening delivery systems such as mobile clinics/camps.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-4-4
PMCID: PMC1936416  PMID: 17594474
5.  Acceptability and usability of self-collected sampling for HPV testing among African American women living in the Mississippi Delta 
Background
HPV DNA testing has been shown to be an effective approach to cervical cancer screening, and self-collection sampling for HPV testing could be a potential alternative to Pap test, provided that women who tested positive by any method get timely follow-up and care. This feasibility study examined acceptability and usability of self-collected sampling for HPV testing among African American (AA) women in the Mississippi Delta in order to inform the development of interventions to promote cervical cancer screening in this population.
Methods
The study consisted of two phases. Phase I consisted of eight focus groups (N=87) with AA women to explore knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about cervical cancer and HPV infection as well as acceptability of self-collected sampling for HPV testing. In Phase II, we examined the usability of this technology through one discussion group (N=9). The Health Belief Model guided data collection and analysis.
Results
Although participants perceived themselves as susceptible to cervical cancer and acknowledged its severity, there was a lack of knowledge of the link between HPV and cervical cancer, and they expressed a number of misconceptions. The most frequent barriers to screening included embarrassment, discomfort, and fear of the results. Women in both phases were receptive to self-collection sampling for HPV testing. All participants in the usability phase expressed that self-collection was easy and they did not experience any difficulties.
Conclusion
Self-collection for HPV testing is an acceptable and feasible method among AA women in the Mississippi Delta to complement current cytology cervical cancer screening programs.
doi:10.1016/j.whi.2012.12.003
PMCID: PMC3596478  PMID: 23410619
gynecological cancer; sexually transmitted infections; health disparities
6.  Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices for Cervical Cancer Screening Among the Bhutanese Refugee Community in Omaha, Nebraska 
Journal of community health  2014;39(5):872-878.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality among women with the vast majority of patients in developing countries. Bhutanese refugees in the United States are from South Central Asia, the 4th leading region of the world for cervical cancer incidence. Over the past few years, Bhutanese refugees have increased significantly in Nebraska. This study evaluates current knowledge of cervical cancer and screening practices among the Bhutanese refugee women in Omaha, Nebraska. The study aimed to investigate cervical cancer and screening knowledge and perceptions about the susceptibility and severity of cervical cancer and perceived benefits and barriers to screening. Self-administered questionnaires and focus groups based on the Health Belief Model were conducted among 42 healthy women from the Bhutanese refugee community in Omaha. The study revealed a significant lack of knowledge in this community regarding cervical cancer and screening practices, with only 22.2 % reporting ever hearing of a Pap test and 13.9 % reporting ever having one. Only 33.3 % of women were in agreement with their own perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer. Women who reported ever hearing about the Pap test tended to believe more strongly about curability of the disease if discovered early than women who never heard about the test (71.4 vs. 45.0 %, for the two groups. respectively). Refugee populations in the United States are in need for tailored cancer education programs especially when being resettled from countries with high risk for cancer.
doi:10.1007/s10900-014-9906-y
PMCID: PMC4175018  PMID: 25060231
Bhutanese; Screening; Cervical cancer; Nebraska
7.  A Population-Based Evaluation of a Publicly Funded, School-Based HPV Vaccine Program in British Columbia, Canada: Parental Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Receipt 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000270.
Analysis of a telephone survey by Gina Ogilvie and colleagues identifies the parental factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a school-based program in Canada.
Background
Information on factors that influence parental decisions for actual human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine receipt in publicly funded, school-based HPV vaccine programs for girls is limited. We report on the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and determine parental factors associated with receipt of the HPV vaccine, in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program in British Columbia, Canada.
Methods and Findings
All parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the academic year of September 2008–June 2009 in the province of British Columbia were eligible to participate. Eligible households identified through the provincial public health information system were randomly selected and those who consented completed a validated survey exploring factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to calculate adjusted odds ratios to identify the factors that were associated with parents' decision to vaccinate their daughter(s) against HPV. 2,025 parents agreed to complete the survey, and 65.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 63.1–67.1) of parents in the survey reported that their daughters received the first dose of the HPV vaccine. In the same school-based vaccine program, 88.4% (95% CI 87.1–89.7) consented to the hepatitis B vaccine, and 86.5% (95% CI 85.1–87.9) consented to the meningococcal C vaccine. The main reasons for having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were the effectiveness of the vaccine (47.9%), advice from a physician (8.7%), and concerns about daughter's health (8.4%). The main reasons for not having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were concerns about HPV vaccine safety (29.2%), preference to wait until the daughter is older (15.6%), and not enough information to make an informed decision (12.6%). In multivariate analysis, overall attitudes to vaccines, the impact of the HPV vaccine on sexual practices, and childhood vaccine history were predictive of parents having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program. By contrast, having a family with two parents, having three or more children, and having more education was associated with a decreased likelihood of having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine.
Conclusions
This study is, to our knowledge, one of the first population-based assessments of factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a publicly funded school-based program worldwide. Policy makers need to consider that even with the removal of financial and health care barriers, parents, who are key decision makers in the uptake of this vaccine, are still hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine, and strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake need to be employed.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About 10% of cancers in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, globally, more than a quarter of a million women die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. There are many types of HPV, a virus that infects the skin and the mucosa (the moist membranes that line various parts of the body, including the cervix). Although most people become infected with HPV at some time in their life, most never know they are infected. However, some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area and several—in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer. HPV infections are usually cleared by the immune system, but about 10% of women infected with a high-risk HPV develop a long-term infection that puts them at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening programs have greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries in recent decades by detecting the cancer early when it can be treated; but it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Because HPV is necessary for the development of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV infection before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to do this. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV 16 and HPV 18 (and with two HPVs that cause genital warts) and that should, therefore, reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Publicly funded HPV vaccination programs are now planned or underway in several countries; but before girls can receive the HPV vaccine, parental consent is usually needed, so it is important to know what influences parental decisions about HPV vaccination. In this study, the researchers undertake a telephone survey to determine the uptake of the HPV vaccine by 11-year-old girls (grade 6) in British Columbia, Canada, and to determine the parental factors associated with vaccine uptake; British Columbia started a voluntary school-based HPV vaccine program in September 2008.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In early 2009, the researchers contacted randomly selected parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the 2008–2009 academic year and asked them to complete a telephone survey that explored factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. 65.1% of the 2,025 parents who completed the survey had consented to their daughter receiving the first dose of HPV vaccine. By contrast, more than 85% of the parents had consented to hepatitis B and meningitis C vaccination of their daughters. Nearly half of the parents surveyed said their main reason for consenting to HPV vaccination was the effectiveness of the vaccine. Conversely, nearly a third of the parents said concern about the vaccine's safety was their main reason for not consenting to vaccination and one in eight said they had been given insufficient information to make an informed decision. In a statistical analysis of the survey data, the researchers found that a positive parental attitude towards vaccination, a parental belief that HPV vaccination had limited impact on sexual practices, and completed childhood vaccination increased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the HPV vaccine. Having a family with two parents or three or more children and having well-educated parents decreased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the vaccine.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide one of the first population-based assessments of the factors that affect HPV vaccine uptake in a setting where there are no financial or health care barriers to vaccination. By identifying the factors associated with parental reluctance to agree to HPV vaccination for their daughters, these findings should help public-health officials design strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake, although further studies are needed to discover why, for example, parents with more education are less likely to agree to vaccination than parents with less education. Importantly, the findings of this study, which are likely to be generalizable to other high-income countries, indicate that there is a continued need to ensure that the public receives credible, clear information about both the benefits and long-term safety of HPV vaccination.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on HPV vaccines (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and on HPV vaccination
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
ImmunizeBC provides general information about vaccination and information about HPV vaccination in British Columbia
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270
PMCID: PMC2864299  PMID: 20454567
8.  Brief Report: Knowledge, attitudes, practices and perceived risk of cervical cancer among Kenyan women 
OBJECTIVES
Eastern Africa has the highest incidence and mortality rates from cervical cancer worldwide. It is important to describe the differences among women and their perceived risk of cervical cancer in order to determine target groups to increase cervical cancer screening.
METHOD
In this cross-sectional study we surveyed women seeking reproductive health services in Kisumu, Kenya to assess their perceived risk of cervical cancer and risk factors influencing cervical cancer screening uptake. Chi-square statistics and t-tests were used to determine significant factors, which were incorporated into a logistic model to determine factors independently associated with cervical cancer risk perception.
RESULTS
While 91% of the surveyed women had heard of cancer, only 29% of the 388 surveyed women had previously heard of cervical cancer. The majority had received their information from healthcare workers. Few women (6%) had ever been screened for cervical cancer and cited barriers such as fear, time, and lacking knowledge about cervical cancer. Nearly all previously screened women (22/24, 92%) believed that cervical cancer was curable if detected early, and that screening should be conducted annually (86%). Most women (254/388, 65%) felt they were at risk for cervical cancer. Women with perceived risk of cervical cancer were older (OR=1.06, 95% CI 1.02, 1.10), reported a history of marriage (OR=2.08, CI 1.00, 4.30), were less likely to feel adequately informed about cervical cancer by healthcare providers (OR= 0.76, CI 0.18, 0.83) and more likely to intend to have cervical cancer screening in the future (OR= 10.59, CI 3.96, 28.30). Only 5% of women reported that they would not be willing to undergo screening, regardless of cost.
Conclusions
Cervical cancer is a major health burden for women in sub-Saharan Africa, yet only one-third of women had ever heard of cervical cancer in Kisumu, Kenya. Understanding factors associated with women’s perceived risk of cervical cancer could guide future educational and clinical interventions to increase cervical cancer screening.
doi:10.1097/IGC.0b013e31828e425c
PMCID: PMC3662490  PMID: 23694983
Screening; Barriers; Cervical Cancer; Africa
9.  Anal Dysplasia Screening 
Executive Summary
Objective
This review considered the role of the anal Pap test as a screening test for anal dysplasia in patients at high risk of anal SCC. The screening process is now thought to be improved with the addition of testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) in high-risk populations. High-resolution anoscopy (a method to view the rectal area, using an anoscope, a lighted instrument inserted into the rectum) rather than routine anoscopy-guided biopsy, is also now considered to be the diagnostic standard.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Anal cancer, like cervical cancer, is a member of a broader group of anogenital cancers known to be associated with sexually transmitted viral HPV infection. Human papillomavirus is extremely prevalent, particularly in young, sexually active populations. Sexual practices involving receptive anal intercourse lead to significantly elevated risk for anal dysplasia and cancer, particularly in those with immune dysfunctions.
Anal cancer is rare. It occurs at a rate of about 1 to 2 per 100,000 in the general population. It is the least common of the lower gastrointestinal cancers, representing about 4% of them, in contrast to colorectal cancers, which remain the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy. Certain segments of the population, however, such as HIV-positive men and women, other chronic immune-suppressed patients (e.g., after a transplant), injection drug users, and women with genital dysplasia /cancer, have a high susceptibility to anal cancer.
Those with the highest identified risk for anal cancer are HIV-positive homosexual and bisexual men, at a rate of 70 per 100,000 men. The risk for anal cancer is reported to be increasing dramatically in HIV-positive males and females, particularly since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the mid-1990s. The introduction of effective viral therapy has been said to have transformed the AIDS epidemic in developed countries into a chronic disease state of long-term immunosuppression. In Ontario, there are about 25,000 people living with HIV infection; more than 6,000 of these are women. About 28% of the newly diagnosed HIV infections are in women, a doubling since 1999. It has also been estimated that 1 of 3 people living with HIV do no know it.
Health Technology Description
Anal Pap test screening involves the blind insertion of a swab into the anal canal and fixing cells either on a slide or in fluid for cytological examination. Anal cytology classified by the standardized Bethesda System is the same classification used for cervical cytology. It has 4 categories: normal, atypical squamous cells of uncertain significance, or squamous intraepithelial lesions which are further classified into low- or high-grade lesions. Abnormal cytological findings are subjected to further evaluations by high-resolution anoscopy, a technique similar to cervical colposcopy, and biopsy. Several HPV deoxyribonucleic acid detection technologies such as the Hybrid 11 Capture and the polymerase chain reaction are available to detect and differentiate HPV viral strains.
Unlike cervical cancer, there are no universally accepted guidelines or standards of care for anal dysplasia. Moreover, there are no formal screening programs provincially, nationally, or internationally. The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute has recently recommended (March 2007) annual anal pap testing in high-risk groups. In Ontario, reimbursement exists only for Pap tests for cervical cancer screening. That is, there is no reimbursement for anal Pap testing in men or women, and HPV screening tests for cervical or anal cancer are also not reimbursed.
Methods
The scientific evidence base was evaluated through a systematic literature review. Assessments of current practices were obtained through consultations with various agencies and individuals including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care AIDS Bureau; Public Health Infectious Diseases Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; Cancer Care Ontario; HIV/AIDS researchers; pathology experts; and HIV/AIDS clinical program directors. An Ontario-based budget impact was also done.
Findings
No direct evidence was found for the existence of controlled studies evaluating the effectiveness of anal Pap test screening programs for impact on anal cancer morbidity or mortality. In addition, no studies were found on the use of HPV DNA testing in the screening or diagnostic setting for anal dysplasia. The reported prevalence of HPV infection in high-risk groups, particularly HIV-positive males, however, was sufficiently high to preclude any utility of HPV testing as an adjunct to anal Pap testing.
Nine reports involving studies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada were identified that evaluated the performance characteristics of anal Pap test screening for anal dysplasia. All involved hospital-based specialty HIV/AIDS care clinics with mainly HIV-positive males. All studies involved experienced pathologists, so the results generally represent best-case scenarios. Estimates of anal Pap test sensitivity and specificity were highly variable, and depended on the varying prevalence of cytology abnormality and differential thresholds for abnormality for both cytology and histopathology.
In the largest study of HIV-positive males, sensitivity varied from 46% (95% confidence interval [CI], 36%–56%) to 69% (95% CI, 60%–78%). Specificity ranged from 59% (95% CI, 53%–65%) to 81% (95% CI, 76%–85%). In the only study of HIV-negative males, sensitivity ranged from 26% (95% CI, 5%-47%) to 47% (95% CI, 26%–68%). Specificity ranged from 81% (95% CI, 76%–85%) to 92% (95% CI, 89%–95%).
In comparison, cervical Pap testing has also been evaluated mainly in settings where there is a high prevalence of the disease, and estimates of sensitivitykij and specificity were also low and highly variable. In a systematic review involving cervical Pap testing, sensitivity ranged from 30% to 87% (mean, 47%) and specificity from 86% to 100% (mean, 95%).
Conclusions
No direct evidence exists to support the effectiveness of an anal Pap test screening program to reduce anal cancer mortality or morbidity. There are, however, strong parallels with cervical pap testing for cervical cancer. Sexually transmitted HPV viral infection is currently the acknowledged common causative agent for both anal and cervical cancer. Anal cancer rates in high-risk populations are approaching those of cervical cancer before the implementation of Pap testing.
The anal Pap test, although it has been mainly evaluated only in HIV-positive males, has similar operating characteristics of sensitivity and specificity as the cervical Pap test. In general, the treatment options for precancer dysplasia in the cervix and the anus are similar, but treatment involving a definitive surgical resection in the anus is more limited because of the higher risk of complications. A range of ablative therapies has been applied for anal dysplasia, but evidence on treatment effectiveness, tolerability and durability, particularly in the HIV-positive patient, is limited.
PMCID: PMC3377578  PMID: 23074504
10.  PAP SMEAR RECEIPT AMONG VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANTS: THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH CARE FACTORS 
Ethnicity & health  2009;14(6):575-589.
Objective
Recent US data indicate that women of Vietnamese descent have higher cervical cancer incidence rates than women of any other race/ethnicity, and lower levels of Pap testing than white, black, and Latina women. Our objective was to provide information about Pap testing barriers and facilitators that could be used to develop cervical cancer control intervention programs for Vietnamese American women.
Design
We conducted a cross-sectional, community-based survey of Vietnamese immigrants. Our study was conducted in metropolitan Seattle, Washington. A total of 1,532 Vietnamese American women participated in the study. Demographic, health care, and knowledge/belief items associated with previous cervical cancer screening participation (ever screened and screened according to interval screening guidelines) were examined.
Results
Eighty-one percent of the respondents had been screened for cervical cancer in the previous three years. Recent Pap testing was strongly associated (p<0.001) with having a regular doctor, having a physical in the last year, previous physician recommendation for testing, and having asked a physician for testing. Women whose regular doctor was a Vietnamese man were no more likely to have received a recent Pap smear than those with no regular doctor.
Conclusion
Our findings indicate that cervical cancer screening disparities between Vietnamese and other racial/ethnic groups are decreasing. Efforts to further increase Pap smear receipt in Vietnamese American communities should enable women without a source of health care to find a regular provider. Additionally, intervention programs should improve patient-provider communication by encouraging health care providers (especially male Vietnamese physicians serving women living in ethnic enclaves) to recommend Pap testing, as well as by empowering Vietnamese women to specifically ask their physicians for Pap testing.
doi:10.1080/13557850903111589
PMCID: PMC2788032  PMID: 19626504
Cervical cancer; Immigrants; Pap testing; Vietnamese
11.  Current Cervical Cancer Screening Knowledge, Awareness, and Practices Among U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island Providers: Opportunities and Challenges 
The Oncologist  2014;19(4):383-393.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 72 health care providers from five of six of the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions in 2011 to assess knowledge, beliefs, practices, and perceived barriers regarding routine cervical cancer screening. Although cervical cancer screening is a priority in clinical practice, beliefs about annual screening, costs associated with screening, and varying levels of support for alternative screening tests pose barriers to these providers.
Background.
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality in nearly all U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions (USAPIJ); however, most jurisdictions are financially and geographically limited in their capacity to deliver routine screening.
Methods.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 72 health care providers from five of the six USAPIJ in 2011 to assess knowledge, beliefs, practices, and perceived barriers regarding routine cervical cancer screening. We compared the responses of providers from jurisdictions that were funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) with those that were not funded.
Results.
Most providers reported cervical cancer prevention as a priority in their clinical practices (90.3%) and use the Papanicolaou test for screening (86.1%). Many providers reported knowledge of screening guidelines (76.4%); however, more than half reported that annual screening is most effective (56.9%). Providers in non-NBCCEDP-funded jurisdictions reported greater acceptance of visual inspection with acetic acid (93.9%) and self-sampling for human papillomavirus testing (48.5%) compared with NBCCEDP-funded jurisdictions (15.4% and 30.8% respectively). Providers from non-NBCCEDP-funded jurisdictions reported inadequate technological resources for screening women (42.4%), and approximately 25% of providers in both groups believed that screening was cost-prohibitive.
Conclusion.
Although cervical cancer screening is a priority in clinical practice, beliefs about annual screening, costs associated with screening, and varying levels of support for alternative screening tests pose barriers to providers throughout the USAPIJ. Further exploration of using evidence-based, lower cost, and sustainable screening technologies is warranted in addition to emphasizing timely follow-up of all positive cases.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2013-0340
PMCID: PMC3983819  PMID: 24668335
Uterine cervical neoplasms; Cancer screening; Pacific Islands; Female; Early detection of cancer; Papillomavirus infections; Diagnosis; Prevention and control
12.  Reducing the Excess Burden of Cervical Cancer Among Latinas: Translating Science into Health Promotion Initiatives 
Purpose
Although deaths from cervical cancer are declining, Latinas are not benefiting equally in this decline. Incidence of invasive cervical cancer among Los Angeles’, California Latinas is much higher than among non-Latina Whites (14.7 versus 8.02 per 100,000). This paper examines cervical cancer screening among Latinas.
Methods
Ninety-seven women of Mexican origin participated in 12 focus groups exploring barriers to screening. Saturation was reached.
Results
All participants knew what a Pap test was and most knew its purpose. More acculturated participants understood the link between HPV and cervical cancer. More recent immigrants did not. There was confusion whether women who were not sexually active need to be screened. Most frequently mentioned barriers were lack of time and concern over missing work. Lower income and less acculturated women were less likely to be aware of free/low-cost clinics. Older and less acculturated participants held more fatalistic beliefs, were more embarrassed about getting a Pap test, were more fearful of being perceived as sexually promiscuous, and were more fearful of receiving disapproval from their husbands.
Conclusions
Latinas are informed regarding cervical cancer screening; rather they encounter barriers such as a lack of time, money and support. Health promotion interventions can be enhanced via peer-to-peer education, by addressing barriers to cervical cancer screening with in-language, culturally tailored interventions, and working with clinics on systemic changes, such as extended clinic hours.
PMCID: PMC3936034  PMID: 24587769
Latinas; cervical cancer; barriers; health disparity; translational research
13.  Knowledge, practice, and barriers toward cervical cancer screening in Elmina, Southern Ghana 
Aims
The aims of this study were: 1) to assess the level of knowledge of women about Pap smear tests, 2) to determine the practices of women regarding Pap smear tests, and 3) to determine the barriers to Pap smear tests in Elmina, Ghana.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 392 randomly selected sexually active females aged 10–74 years using structured interview questions. The Institutional Review Board of the University of Cape Coast gave ethical approval for the study and informed consent was obtained from participants. Data were analyzed with SPSS software (v19.0) using frequencies, chi-square test, and exploratory factor analysis.
Results
The results revealed that 68.4% had never heard about cervical cancer, 93.6% had no knowledge on the risk factors, nine (2.3%) reported multiple sexual partners and being sexually active as risk factors, and 92% did not know about the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer. The majority (97.7%) had never heard of the Pap smear test. Only three (0.8%) women out of 392 had had a Pap smear test. Reasons for seeking a Pap smear test included referral, fear of cervical cancer, and radio campaigns. A significant association was found between institutional and personal barriers and having a Pap smear test.
Conclusion
Comprehensive education on cervical cancer screening and removal of access barriers are critical in reducing risk associated with the disease and promoting women’s health.
doi:10.2147/IJWH.S71797
PMCID: PMC4284003  PMID: 25565902
women; cervical screening; awareness; factors; community; developing countries
14.  A qualitative exploration of Malaysian cancer patients’ perceptions of cancer screening 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:48.
Background
Despite the existence of different screening methods, the response to cancer screening is poor among Malaysians. The current study aims to examine cancer patients’ perceptions of cancer screening and early diagnosis.
Methods
A qualitative methodology was used to collect in-depth information from cancer patients. After obtaining institutional ethical approval, patients with different types and stages of cancer from the three major ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian) were approached. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted. All interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and translated into English for thematic content analysis.
Results
Thematic content analysis yielded four major themes: awareness of cancer screening, perceived benefits of cancer screening, perceived barriers to cancer screening, and cues to action. The majority of respondents had never heard of cancer screening before their diagnosis. Some participants reported hearing about mammogram and Pap smear tests but did not undergo screening due to a lack of belief in personal susceptibility. Those who had negative results from screening prior to diagnosis perceived such tests as untrustworthy. Lack of knowledge and financial constraints were reported as barriers to cancer screening. Finally, numerous suggestions were given to improve screening behaviour among healthy individuals, including the role of mass media in disseminating the message ‘prevention is better than cure’.
Conclusions
Patients’ narratives revealed some significant issues that were in line with the Health Belief Model which could explain negative health behaviour. The description of the personal experiences of people with cancer could provide many cues to action for those who have never encountered this potentially deadly disease, if incorporated into health promotion activities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-48
PMCID: PMC3564681  PMID: 23331785
Cancer; Screening; Perceptions; Malaysia; Qualitative method
15.  Knowledge, attitudes and practices on cervical cancer screening among the medical workers of Mulago Hospital, Uganda 
Background
Cervical cancer is the commonest cancer of women in Uganda. Over 80% of women diagnosed in Mulago national referral and teaching hospital, the biggest hospital in Uganda, have advanced disease. Pap smear screening, on opportunistic rather than systematic basis, is offered free in the gynaecological outpatients clinic and the postnatal/family planning clinics. Medical students in the third and final clerkships are expected to learn the techniques of screening. Objectives of this study were to describe knowledge on cervical cancer, attitudes and practices towards cervical cancer screening among the medical workers of Mulago hospital.
Methods
In a descriptive cross-sectional study, a weighted sample of 310 medical workers including nurses, doctors and final year medical students were interviewed using a self-administered questionnaire. We measured knowledge about cervical cancer: (risk factors, eligibility for screening and screening techniques), attitudes towards cervical cancer screening and practices regarding screening.
Results
Response rate was 92% (285). Of these, 93% considered cancer of the cervix a public health problem and knowledge about Pap smear was 83% among respondents. Less than 40% knew risk factors for cervical cancer, eligibility for and screening interval. Of the female respondents, 65% didn't feel susceptible to cervical cancer and 81% had never been screened. Of the male respondents, only 26% had partners who had ever been screened. Only 14% of the final year medical students felt skilled enough to use a vaginal speculum and 87% had never performed a pap smear.
Conclusion
Despite knowledge of the gravity of cervical cancer and prevention by screening using a Pap smear, attitudes and practices towards screening were negative. The medical workers who should be responsible for opportunistic screening of women they care for are not keen on getting screened themselves. There is need to explain/understand the cause of these attitudes and practices and identify possible interventions to change them. Medical students leave medical school without adequate skills to be able to effectively screen women for cervical cancer wherever they go to practice. Medical students and nurses training curricula needs review to incorporate practical skills on cervical cancer screening.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-13
PMCID: PMC1413529  PMID: 16509979
16.  Cervical cancer knowledge and screening behaviors among female university graduates of year 2012 attending national graduate orientation program, Bhutan 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:44.
Background
Cervical cancer is the leading female cancer in Bhutan. This study describes the level of cervical cancer knowledge and screening behaviors among female university graduates attending the National Graduate Orientation Program (NGOP), 2012.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of female graduates attending NGOP was conducted using self-administered anonymous questionnaire developed through literature reviews and expert discussions to elicit information on demographic characteristics, knowledge, screening behaviors and determinants of cervical cancer. The association of demographic and other important study characteristics with uptake of Pap test was investigated using cross tabulation and Fischer Exact test. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for all the questions.
Results
The average age of the participants was 23.43 ± SD 2.73. About 92% (n = 513) of the respondents were aged 25 years or less and 7.9% (n = 44) of the respondents were aged 26 or more. The study revealed low cervical cancer knowledge and poor screening behavior among the graduates. The mean knowledge score was 3.571 (SD1.75, Range 0–8). About 6% (n=34) of the respondents reported undergoing Pap test at least once and 94% reported as never having done Pap test. The most commonly cited reasons for not doing Pap test included “never thought I needed one” (57%, n = 320), “embarrassment of being examined by male health professional” and “fear of finding out cancer”. The study revealed evidence of significant association between increasing age, those who are married, knowledge score and those recommended for screening by health professionals with the uptake of Pap test.
Conclusion
Our study revealed poor knowledge and screening behaviors among female university graduates in Bhutan. This may be suggestive of even poorer awareness and screening practices among young unmarried women who are less educated or with no education. Although our study group is not appropriate for measuring practice of cervical cancer screening in the country, the findings are expected to highlight the shortcomings and trigger development of comprehensive cervical cancer control programs in Bhutan.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-44
PMCID: PMC3975232  PMID: 24618416
Bhutan cervical cancer knowledge; Screening behavior; Determinants; University graduates
17.  Acceptability and Correlates of Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cervical Cancer among Medical Students in Southwest China: Implications for Cancer Education 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110353.
Objectives
To understand knowledge about, and acceptability of, cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccines among medical students; and to explore potential factors that influence their acceptability in China.
Methods
We conducted a survey among medical students at six universities across southwest China using a 58-item questionnaire regarding knowledge and perceptions of HPV, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccines.
Results
We surveyed 1878 medical students with a mean age of 20.8 years (standard deviation: 1.3 years). Of these, 48.8% and 80.1% believed cervical cancer can be prevented by HPV vaccines and screening respectively, while 60.2% and 71.2% would like to receive or recommend HPV vaccines and screening. 35.4% thought HPV vaccines ought to be given to adolescents aged 13–18 years. 32% stated that women should start to undergo screening from the age of 25. 49.2% felt that women should receive screening every year. Concern about side effects (38.3% and 39.8%), and inadequate information (42.4% and 35.0%) were the most cited barriers to receiving or recommending HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. Females were more likely to accept HPV vaccines (OR, 1.86; 95% CI: 1.47–2.35) or cervical cancer screening (OR, 3.69; 95% CI: 2.88–4.74). Students with a higher level of related knowledge were much more willing to receive or recommend vaccines (P<0.001) or screening (P<0.001). Students who showed negative or uncertain attitudes towards premarital sex were less likely to accept either HPV vaccines (OR, 0.67; 95% CI: 0.47–0.96), or screening (OR, 0.68; 0.47–0.10). Non-clinical students showed lower acceptability of cervical screening compared to students in clinical medicine (OR, 0.74; 95% CI: 0.56–0.96).
Conclusions
The acceptability of HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screening is relatively low among medical students in southwest China. Measures should be taken to improve knowledge about cervical cancer and awareness of HPV vaccines and screening among medical students at university.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110353
PMCID: PMC4215919  PMID: 25360743
18.  Evidence-Based Intervention to Reduce Access Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening Among Underserved Chinese American Women 
Journal of Women's Health  2010;19(3):463-469.
Abstract
Objective
The primary objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a community-based pilot intervention that combined cervical cancer education with patient navigation on cervical cancer screening behaviors among Chinese American women residing in New York City.
Methods
Chinese women (n = 134) who had not had a Pap test within the previous 12 months were recruited from four Asian community-based organizations (CBOs). Women from two of the CBOs received the intervention (n = 80) consisting of education, interaction with a Chinese physician, and navigation assistance, including help in identifying and accessing free or low-cost screening services. The control group (n = 54) received education delivered by Chinese community health educators and written materials on general health and cancer screening, including cervical cancer, the Pap test, and information about sites that provided free screening. Study assessments were obtained in-person at baseline and postintervention. Screening behavior was self-reported at 12-month postintervention and verified by medical staff.
Results
In the 12-month interval following the program, screening rates were significantly higher in the intervention group (70%) compared to the control group (11.1%). Hierarchical logistic regression analyses indicated that screening behavior was associated with older age (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01–1.15, p < .05). In addition, women with poorer English language fluency (OR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.10–0.89, p < .05) and who did not have health insurance were less likely to obtain screening (OR = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.02–0.96, p < .05). Among health beliefs, greater perceived severity of disease was positively associated with screening behavior (OR = 4.26, 95% CI = 1.01-18.04, p < .05).
Conclusions
Community-based programs that provide combined education and patient navigation may be effective in overcoming the extensive linguistic and access barriers to screening faced by Chinese American women.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2009.1422
PMCID: PMC2867551  PMID: 20156089
19.  Understanding cervical cancer screening among lesbians: a national survey 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:442.
Background
Lesbians have low rates of cervical cancer screening, even though they are at risk of developing the disease. The aim of this study was to examine cervical cancer screening behaviors in a national sample of lesbians.
Methods
A standardized internet survey was sent to 3,000 self-identified lesbians to assess cervical cancer screening behaviors and barriers to screening. The sample consisted of 1,006 respondents.
Results
Sixty-two percent of the weighted sample of respondents were routine screeners. Lack of a physician referral (17.5%) and lack of a physician (17.3%) were the most commonly-cited top reasons for lack of screening. Adjusting for age, education, relationship status, employments status, and insurance status, women who had disclosed their sexual orientation to their primary care physician (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.84 [95% confidence interval 1.82-4.45]) or gynecologist (OR 2.30 [1.33-3.96]) had greater odds of routine screening than those who did not. Those who knew that lack of Pap testing is a risk factor for cervical cancer were also more likely to be routine screeners (OR 1.95 [1.30-2.91]), although no association with screening was apparent for women who had more knowledge of general cervical cancer risk factors. Physician recommendation appeared to be a potent determinant of regular screening behavior. Routine screeners perceived more benefits and fewer barriers to screening, as well as higher susceptibility to cervical cancer.
Conclusions
Some women who identify as lesbian are at a potentially elevated risk of cervical cancer because they are not routinely screened. Evidence-based interventions should be developed to address critical health beliefs that undermine participation in screening. Given the value placed on physician recommendation, patient-provider communication may serve as the optimal focus of effective intervention.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-442
PMCID: PMC3693978  PMID: 23642184
Homosexuality; Female; Papanicolaou test; Reproductive health; Health behavior
20.  Korean American Women’s Beliefs About Breast and Cervical Cancer and Associated Symbolic Meanings 
Oncology nursing forum  2007;34(3):713-720.
Purpose/Objectives
To explore Korean American women’s symbolic meanings related to their breasts and cervix, to examine attitudes and beliefs about breast and cervical cancer, and to find relationships between the participants’ beliefs and their cancer screening behaviors.
Research Approach
Descriptive, qualitative analysis.
Setting
Southwestern United States.
Participants
33 Korean-born women at least 40 years of age.
Methodologic Approach
In-depth, face-to-face, individual interviews were conducted in Korean. A semistructured interview guide was used to ensure comparable core content across all interviews. Transcribed and translated interviews were analyzed using descriptive content analysis.
Main Research Variables
Breast cancer, cervical cancer, cancer screening, beliefs, and Korean American women.
Findings
Korean American women’s symbolic meaning of their breasts and cervix are closely related to their past experiences of bearing and rearing children. Negative life experiences among older Korean American women contributed to negative perceptions about cervical cancer. Having information about cancer, either correct or incorrect, and having faith in God or destiny may be barriers to obtaining screening tests.
Conclusions
Korean American women’s symbolic meanings regarding their breasts and cervix, as well as their beliefs about breast cancer and cervical cancer and cancer screening, are associated with their cultural and interpersonal contexts. Their beliefs or limited knowledge appear to relate to their screening behaviors.
Interpretation
Interventions that carefully address Korean American women’s beliefs about breast cancer and cervical cancer as well as associated symbolic meanings may increase their cancer screening behaviors. Clinicians should consider Korean American women’s culture-specific beliefs and representations as well as their life experiences in providing care for the population.
doi:10.1188/07.ONF.713-720
PMCID: PMC2408766  PMID: 17573330
21.  Perceptions of barriers and facilitators of cancer early detection among low-income minority women in community health centers. 
African-American and Hispanic women receive fewer indicated cancer early detection services than do majority women. Low rates of cancer screening may, in part, explain the disproportionately higher rates of cancer deaths in this population. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore through individual interviews the perceptions of barriers and facilitators of colorectal, cervical and breast cancer screening among 187 low-income, primarily minority women in four New-York-City-based community/migrant health centers. We identified various barriers and facilitators within each of these categories. Clinician recommendation was the most commonly cited encouragement to cancer screening. Other facilitators of cancer screening identified by patients included personal medical history, such as the presence of a symptom. The perception of screening as routine was cited as a facilitator far more commonly for mammography and Pap tests than for either of the colorectal screenings. Less commonly cited facilitators were insurance coverage and information from the media. The most common barriers were a lack of cancer screening knowledge, patients' perception of good health or absence of symptoms attributable to ill health, fear of pain from the cancer test and a lack of a clinician recommendation. Using standard qualitative techniques, patients' responses were analyzed and grouped into a taxonomy of three major categories reflecting: (1) patients' attitudes and beliefs, (2) their social network experience and (3) accessibility of services. This taxonomy may serve as a useful framework for primary care providers to educate and counsel their patients about cancer screening behaviors.
PMCID: PMC2568778  PMID: 15712779
22.  A Study on Cervical Cancer Screening Amongst Nurses in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria 
Journal of Cancer Education  2011;26(3):497-504.
Cancer of the cervix is the commonest genital tract malignancy in the female, and it has been ranked second to breast cancer. It has positive association with infection of human papillomavirus. Cervical cancer incidence and mortality have declined substantially in western countries following the introduction of screening programmes. This present study investigated the knowledge, attitude and practice of nurses in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) towards cervical cancer screening as they are important health personnel that are suppose to educate women on the need for cervical cancer screening. The study is a descriptive cross-sectional survey of the knowledge, attitude and practice of 200 nurses in LUTH towards cervical cancer screening. The results obtained showed that 99% of the respondents were aware of cervical cancer and that 92% of the respondents were also aware of the causative organism of cervical cancer (human papillomavirus). Their major sources of information were through electronic media (43.9%) and health professionals (37.4%). Furthermore, the respondents were quiet aware of Pap smear (91%) as one of the screening techniques of cervical cancer and had good attitudes (89%) towards Pap smear, but most of them had never done it before. The study further revealed that majority of the respondents did not know colposcopy as one of the screening techniques for cervical cancer. Finally, it has been made known from this study that nurses have good knowledge of cervical cancer but have limited understanding of the types of cervical cancer screening techniques and poor disposition towards undergoing cervical cancer screening. It may thus be recommended that institutions should periodically organise seminars and training for health personnel especially the nurses which form a group of professionals that should give health education to women about cervical cancer. This training may be done as part of the orientation programme to newly employed staff.
doi:10.1007/s13187-010-0187-6
PMCID: PMC3161190  PMID: 21222192
Cervical cancer; Pap smear; Nurses; Screening techniques
23.  Knowledge and beliefs on cervical cancer and practices on cervical cancer screening among women aged 20 to 50 years in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2012: a cross-sectional study 
Introduction
In Burkina Faso, 1230 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and 838 die from the disease. Little is known about women's practices, knowledge and beliefs regarding cervical cancer. This study aims to describe women's practices regarding cervical cancer screening and to assess their knowledge and beliefs.
Methods
Cross-sectional study was carried out in Ouagadougou from 1st to 31st December 2012 interviewing 840 women aged 20 to 50 years about their knowledge, beliefs and practices regarding cervical cancer. Cluster sampling was used. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed. Chi square test was used and p-value < 0.05 was considered.
Results
Out of 840 women enrolled with mean age 29.5±7.77 years, 66.31% were married, 59.28% have not been to school or left school at primary level. While 64.2% of participants heart about cervical cancer, 8.5% heart about Human papillomavirus, 69.05% don't know that cervical cancer is preventable. 90.4% of participants were worried to develop cervical cancer, 96.67% would accept to be screened and 11.07% were screened for cervical cancer. In multivariate analysis, heart about cervical cancer (OR = 5.7; 95% CI: 2.21-14.69), know contamination mode of HPV (OR = 3.81; 95% CI: 2.27-6.39), heart about HPV (OR = 2.05; 95% CI: 1.11-3.81) and use of oral contraceptive (OR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.25-3.39) were independently associated with screening history with p < 0.05.
Conclusion
Knowledge and belief regarding cervical cancer is limited among Ouagadougou women and screening rate is low. There is need to enhance health education regarding Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer.
doi:10.11604/pamj.2014.18.175.3866
PMCID: PMC4236918  PMID: 25419302
Cervical cancer; screening; knowledge; beliefs; practices
24.  Cervical Cancer and Pap Smear Awareness and Utilization of Pap Smear Test among Federal Civil Servants in North Central Nigeria 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46583.
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in developing countries. A key factor linked to the relatively high levels of cervical cancer in these populations is the lack of awareness and access to preventive methods. This study aimed to determine the level of awareness of cervical cancer and Papanicolaou test (Pap smear test) and factors associated with the utilization of Pap test among female civil servants in Jos. Data was obtained from female workers (n = 388) aged 18–65 years in a Nigerian Federal establishment. Participants were randomly approached and instructed to complete validated questionnaires. Data was analyzed using Chi-square, t-tests and logistic regression analysis to determine if there was an association between variables and identify any predictors of awareness and utilization of the Pap test. Cervical cancer and Pap smear test awareness was 50.9% and 38.6% respectively, with the media as the major source of information. Pap smear test utilization rate was 10.2%, with routine antenatal care (ANC) as the major reason for getting screened. Personal barriers to screening include the lack of awareness, and belief that cervical cancer is not preventable. Opportunistic screening, mass media campaigns and ANC education were suggested as ways of improving awareness and utilization of cervical cancer screening services.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046583
PMCID: PMC3462186  PMID: 23049708
25.  Awareness of Pap testing and factors associated with intent to undergo Pap testing by level of sexual experience in unmarried university students in Korea: results from an online survey 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:100.
Background
Young and unmarried women have not been a target group for cervical cancer prevention in Korea. No previous studies have investigated the awareness of Pap testing, the intention to undergo Pap testing, or the factors associated with that intention, in this group of women. This information would be useful for an expansion in the focus of primary cervical cancer prevention. This study aimed to compare the awareness of Pap testing between groups of unmarried university students in Korea, and to investigate the factors associated with the intention to undergo Pap testing, by level of sexual experience.
Methods
A total of 475 unmarried university students who had never undergone a Pap test completed a web-based survey. Differences in awareness of the importance of the Pap test, confidence in Pap testing, intention to undergo the test, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived control, stigma, and shame by level of sexual experience were analysed using independent t-tests. Associations between measurement variables and intention to undergo Pap testing were analysed using correlation analysis. Variables yielding significant associations (p < 0.05) were included in a stepwise multiple regression model of intention to undergo Pap testing.
Results
Most participants perceived that the need for regular Pap testing was less important (score, 77.76) than other methods of cervical cancer prevention. They were not confident that is was an effective method of cervical cancer prevention for themselves (score, 59.56). There were differences in confidence in Pap testing and in the factors associated with intention to undergo Pap testing between sexually experienced and sexually inexperienced students. Regardless of level of sexual experience, the subjective norm was the most important predictor of intention to undergo Pap testing.
Conclusions
There was a low level of Pap screening awareness among the students. The factors associated with intention to undergo Pap testing differed by level of sexual experience. Social influence was an important factor that could be used to increase the intention to receive a Pap test in the university student population. Strategies to increase the intention to undergo Pap screening should be introduced and should be adapted to the level of sexual experience.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-100
PMCID: PMC4151378  PMID: 25163938
Cervical cancer; Pap test; University student

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