Cancer is among the three leading causes of death in low income countries and the highest increase with regard to incidence figures for cancer diseases are found in these countries. This is the first report of the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and needs of care and support of adult Tanzanians with cancer.
A mixed-methods design was used. The study was conducted at Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. One hundred and one patients with a variety of cancer diagnoses treated and cared for at ORCI answered the Kiswahili version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 investigating HRQOL. Thirty-two of the patients participated in focus group interviews discussing needs of care and support. Data from focus group interviews were analyzed with content analysis.
The findings show that the patients, both women and men, report a low quality of life, especially with regard to physical, role, and social function and a high level of symptoms and problems especially with financial difficulties and pain. Financial difficulties are reported to a remarkably high extent by both women and men. The patients, both women and men report least problems with emotional function. A content analysis of the interview data revealed needs of food and water, hygienic needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, financial needs, and needs of closeness to cancer care and treatment services.
The high score for pain points out that ORCI is facing severe challenges regarding care and treatment. However, when considering this finding it should be noted that the pain subscale of the Kiswahili version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 did not reach acceptable internal consistency and showed less than satisfactory convergent validity. This also applies to the subscales cognitive function and global health/quality of life. Attention should be drawn to meet the identified needs of Tanzanian cancer patients while hospitalized but also when at home. Increased accessibility of mosquito nets, pads, and pain-killers would help to fulfil some needs.
Cancer; Care; Health-related quality of life; Support; Tanzania
Cervical cancer screening has been consistently shown to be effective in reducing the incidence rate and mortality from cervical cancer. However, cervical screening attendance rates are still far from satisfactory in many countries. Strategies, health promotion and education programs need to be developed with clear evidence of the causes and factors relating to the low attendance rate. The study aims to assess the prediction of cervical screening attendance rate by Chinese women’s knowledge about cervical cancer and cervical screening as well as their perception of health.
Patients and methods:
A survey with self-reported questionnaires was conducted on 385 Chinese women recruited from a community clinic in Hong Kong. Participants were Chinese women, Hong Kong residents, aged 18–65 years, able to read Chinese or English, and were not pregnant.
Women aged 37 years or less, with at least tertiary education, who perceived having control over their own health and had better knowledge on risk factors, were more likely to attend cervical cancer screening. Many participants had adequate general knowledge but were unable to identify correct answers on the risk factors.
Health promotion efforts need to focus on increasing women’s knowledge on risk factors and enhancing their perceived health control by providing more information on the link between screening and early detection with lower incidence rates and mortality from cervical cancer.
cervical screening attendance; cervical cancer; health perception and knowledge; perceived health control; Chinese
Tanzania is among the countries in the world where the cervical cancer incidence is estimated to be highest. Acknowledging an increase in the burden of cervical cancer, VIA was implemented as a regional cervical cancer screening strategy in Tanzania in 2002. With the aim of describing risk factors for VIA positivity and determinants of screening attendances in Tanzania, this paper present the results from a comparative analysis performed among women who are reached and not reached by the screening program”.
14 107 women aged 25–59 enrolled in a cervical cancer screening program in Dar es Salaam in the period 2002 – 2008. The women underwent VIA examination and took part in a structured questionnaire interview. Socioeconomic characteristics, sexual behavior, HIV status and high-risk (HR) HPV infection were determined in a subpopulation of 890 who participated and 845 who did not participate in the screening.
Being widowed/separated OR=1.41 (95% CI: 1.17-1.66), of high parity OR=3.19 (95% CI: 1.84-5.48) of low education OR= 4.30 (95% CI: 3.50-5.31) and married at a young age OR=2.17 (95% CI: 1.37-3.07) were associated with being VIA positive. Women who participated in the screening were more likely to be HIV positive OR= 1.59 (95% CI. 1.14-2.25) in comparison with women who had never attended screening, while no difference was found in the prevalence of HR-HPV infection among women who had attended screening and women who had not attended screening.
Women who are widowed/separated, of high parity, of low education and married at a young age are more likely to be VIA positive and thus at risk of developing cervical cancer. The study further documents that a referral linkage between the HIV care and treatment program and the cervical cancer screening program is in place in the setting studied, where HIV positive were more likely to participate in the cervical cancer screening program than HIV negative women.
Cervical cancer; Screening; VIA; HPV; HIV; Tanzania
An 18-month intervention was implemented to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among poor African-American women in Chicago. Breast and cervical cancer screening programs were set up in two public clinics, one community-based and the other hospital-based. Nurse clinicians and public health workers were used in these programs to recruit women in the clinics and in targeted community institutions to receive free breast and cervical cancer screening. The following barriers were specifically addressed by the intervention: accessibility of screening, knowledge about breast and cervical cancers, access to followup screening examinations, and access to treatment. A computerized followup system was specifically designed to track patients. During the 18 months of the intervention, 10,829 visits were made by 7,654 low-income women. A total of 84 cases of breast cancer and 9 cases of cervical cancer were detected. Awareness of the program, as measured by a survey after the completion of the intervention, increased in both clinics compared with baseline results. Knowledge about breast and cervical cancers also increased, as measured by scores on tests given before and after a class on breast and cervical cancers. Followup rates were 86 percent for women attending the programs. More than 90 percent of the women referred for evaluation of breast abnormalities kept an appointment. In summary, the intervention was successful in reducing barriers to breast and cervical cancer detection and in attracting a high-risk group of women.
Cervical cancer is an important public health problem worldwide, which comprises approximately 12% of all cancers in women. In Tanzania, the estimated incidence rate is 30 to 40 per 100,000 women, indicating a high disease burden. Cervical cancer screening is acknowledged as currently the most effective approach for cervical cancer control, and it is associated with reduced incidence and mortality from the disease. The aim of the study was to identify the most important factors related to the uptake of cervical cancer screening among women in a rural district of Tanzania.
A cross sectional study was conducted with a sample of 354 women aged 18 to 69 years residing in Moshi Rural District. A multistage sampling technique was used to randomly select eligible women. A one-hour interview was conducted with each woman in her home. The 17 questions were modified from similar questions used in previous research.
Less than one quarter (22.6%) of the participants had obtained cervical cancer screening. The following characteristics, when examined separately in relation to the uptake of cervical cancer screening service, were significant: husband approval of cervical cancer screening, women's level of education, women's knowledge of cervical cancer and its prevention, women's concerns about embarrassment and pain of screening, women's preference for the sex of health provider, and women's awareness of and distance to cervical cancer screening services. When examined simultaneously in a logistic regression, we found that only knowledge of cervical cancer and its prevention (OR = 8.90, 95%CI = 2.14-16.03) and distance to the facility which provides cervical cancer screening (OR = 3.98, 95%CI = 0.18-5.10) were significantly associated with screening uptake.
Based on the study findings, three recommendations are made. First, information about cervical cancer must be presented to women. Second, public education of the disease must include specific information on how to prevent it as well as screening services available. Third, it is important to provide cervical cancer screening services within 5 km of where women reside.
Public health; Policy; Cervical cancer screening; Women's health
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.
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.
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).
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.
The purpose of this article is to examine knowledge and health beliefs associated with cervical cancer screening among Korean American women. A telephone survey was conducted with 189 Korean American women in the Chicago area. Age, marital status, income, knowledge of early detection method for cervical cancer, and perceived beliefs about benefits of and barriers to receiving Pap tests were all related to outcomes of ever having a Pap test and having had one in the preceding 3 years. Variables uniquely related to ever having a Pap test were education, employment status, fluency in English, and proportion of life spent in the United States. Variables uniquely related to having had the test during the preceding 3 years were having a usual source of care and regular checkups. Different intervention components are suggested for the groups of Korean American women who have never had a Pap smear and for those who have not had one in the preceding 3 years, in addition to common intervention strategies that aim to increase knowledge and perceived benefit and to decrease perceived barriers to receiving Pap tests.
cervical cancer; screening behaviors; health behavior; symptom focus; Korean Americans; Pap smear; knowledge; beliefs
Cervical cancer is the most incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality in women in Ghana. Currently little is known about Ghanaian women's knowledge and beliefs about cervical cancer screening, yet this information is essential to the success of cervical cancer screening programs. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to describe the knowledge and beliefs of women university college students in Ghana.
A cross sectional survey among college women in a university in Ghana elicited information about sociodemographics, knowledge and beliefs and acceptability of cervical cancer screening, screening history, and sexual history. Bivariate analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with screening.
140 females were recruited; the age range was 20-35 years. The prior pap screening rate was 12.0%; Women were unaware of local screening initiatives and only 7.9% were aware of the link between HPV and cervical cancer. The most prevalent barriers were lack of awareness that the purpose of pap screening is to diagnose cancer, concerns about what others may think, and lack of information about how to obtain screening services. Although women perceived the benefits of screening, only about half perceived themselves to be at risk. Women received few screening cues. Three barriers were negatively associated with screening in bivariate analyses: lack of belief that cervical screening diagnoses cancer, belief that pap test is painful and belief that the test will take away virginity.
New screening programs in Ghana should address these barriers and increase screening cues to the public.
cervical cancer screening; health beliefs; Ghanaian women
Well organized cervical screening in general practice can have considerable clinical and financial rewards. Yet in a randomized survey of general practitioners in the United Kingdom only 43% operated a system for cervical screening which allows previously untested women to be identified and invited for testing.
A younger age of general practitioner, a more rural practice, a larger practice size, employment of a practice nurse, a belief in the effectiveness of cervical screening and a positive view of the time spent on screening were all strong predictors of an organized approach to cervical screening within a practice. Being female or having a female partner was not statistically associated with systematic screening. The results demonstrate a need for education within general practice which emphasizes the relevance and significance of cervical screening and the essential contribution that can be made by each individual general practitioner to the success of the whole cervical screening programme.
Methods: Women attending a well woman clinic were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing HPV awareness and specific knowledge about the virus.
Results: Questionnaires were completed by 1032 women, of whom 30% had heard of HPV. Older women, non-smokers, and those with a history of candida, genital warts, or an abnormal smear result were more likely to have heard of HPV. Even among those who had heard of HPV, knowledge was generally poor, and fewer than half were aware of the link with cervical cancer. There was also confusion about whether condoms or oral contraceptives could protect against HPV infection.
Conclusions: In this relatively well educated sample, awareness and knowledge of HPV were poor. Public education is urgently needed so that women participating in cervical cancer screening are fully informed about the meaning of their results, especially if HPV testing is soon to be introduced.
The Forsyth County, NC, Cervical Cancer Prevention Project is a 5-year public health education program designed to increase the proportion of black women in the county who are appropriately screened for cervical cancer. In this paper, the authors report on process evaluation--the procedures used to monitor the intervention and to insure that the target population was reached with a high quality, community-based health education program. A system that encompasses documentation of program activities, interviews with women in waiting rooms of primary care providers, semiannual interviews with a panel of approximately 100 women from the target population, and telephone followup with participants in direct education workshops was designed and implemented. Through October 1990, more than 2,100 interviews had been conducted. Data from these activities have facilitated continued development and refinement of educational materials, provided guidance for developing new strategies for reaching the target population, and provided continuous feedback to program managers to allow monitoring the impact of all program activities.
This experimental study attempts to determine if an in-home educational intervention conducted by lay health workers (LHWs) can increase adherence among low-income, inner-city black women to schedules for screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer, as well as increase the women's knowledge and change their attitudes regarding these cancers. This paper is a description of the purposes, hypotheses, design, subject recruitment, intervention, and evaluation of the study conducted by Morehouse School of Medicine. Subjects were recruited from a variety of sources, including patients seen in a community health center, women referred by the National Black Women's Health Project (NBWHP), residents of public and senior citizen housing projects, and persons identified in various community settings. Fewer than half of those asked to participate agreed to do so. The 321 women who were recruited were demographically diverse. Overall, about half of these volunteer subjects self-reported at least one Papanicolaou (Pap) smear and one breast examination within a year before enrollment in the study. There was little variation by source of recruitment in compliance with screening recommendations, except that referrals from NBWHP were more likely (P less than 0.01) to have had a Pap test and breast self-examination, while residents of public housing projects were somewhat less likely to have done so. About 35 percent of participants ages 35 and older had a mammogram within an appropriate interval. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Women in the intervention group were visited in their homes by LHWs on three occasions; the LHWs provided education on cancer and reproductive health.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
We conducted a focus group study to assess the influence of partner communication on breast and cervical cancer screening and the perceived existing and potential support from male partners in participating in cancer screening. Secondarily, Mexican male and female views on health care and cancer were explored.
Seven focus groups (two female-only, three male-only, and two couples) were conducted in Spanish.
Findings suggest that knowledge about cervical cancer was significantly less than knowledge about breast cancer among both men and women. Barriers to cancer screening included language barriers, lack of health insurance, and lack of awareness of the need for screening. Male partners expressed willingness to support their female partners in cancer screening activities.
Cervical cancer education is desperately needed, including education on the availability of free and low cost screening services. Education efforts should include the male community members, especially as the males perceive themselves as responsible for the financial burden of care.
Cervical cancer; Breast cancer; Screening; Mexican-American; Male involvement; Access to care
In Malawi, cervical cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among women, with an 80% mortality rate. The Mulanje Mission Hospital has offered free cervical cancer screening for eight years; however, patients primarily seek medical help for gynecologic complaints after the disease is inoperable.
We investigated how women in rural Malawi make health-seeking decisions regarding cervical cancer screening using qualitative research methods. The study was conducted between May and August of 2009 in Mulanje, Malawi.
This study found that the primary cue to action for cervical cancer screening was symptoms of cervical cancer. Major barriers to seeking preventative screening included low knowledge levels, low perceived susceptibility and low perceived benefits from the service. Study participants did not view cervical cancer screening as critical health care. Interviews suggested that use of the service could increase if women are recruited while visiting the hospital for a different service.
This study recommends that health care providers and health educators target aspects of perceived susceptibility among their patients, including knowledge levels and personal risk assessment. We believe that continued support and advertisement of cervical cancer screening programs along with innovative recruitment strategies will increase usage density and decrease unnecessary deaths from cervical cancer in Malawi.
cervical cancer; interviews; health care; Mulanje Mission Hospital
Three hundred twenty-one inner-city African-American women were interviewed to determine their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding cancer and cancer screening, and their cancer screening histories. The women were recruited from a variety of sources in Atlanta and were interviewed in their homes by trained lay health workers. Half of the subjects had an annual household income of < $15,000. About half had received a Pap smear and clinical breast examination within the year preceding the interviews. For women > 35 years old, 35% had received a mammogram within the recommended interval. Younger women and women with higher incomes were more likely than older women and those with lower incomes to have received a Pap test and clinical breast examination within the preceding year, but income was not significantly associated with mammography histories. In general, women who were more knowledgeable about cancer and its prevention were more likely to have been appropriately screened. However, various attitudes and beliefs regarding cancer generally were not associated with screening histories. We conclude that cancer screening programs for inner-city minority women should focus on improving knowledge levels among older women rather than attempting to alter attitudes and beliefs.
To describe how demographic characteristics and knowledge of cervical cancer influence screening acceptance among women living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Multistage cluster sampling was carried out in 45 randomly selected streets in Dar es Salaam. Women between the ages of 25–59 who lived in the sampled streets were invited to a cervical cancer screening; 804 women accepted and 313 rejected the invitation. Information on demographic characteristics and knowledge of cervical cancer were obtained through structured questionnaire interviews.
Women aged 35–44 and women aged 45–59 had increased ORs of 3.52 and 7.09, respectively, for accepting screening. Increased accepting rates were also found among single women (OR 2.43) and among women who had attended primary or secondary school (ORs of 1.81 and 1.94). Women who had 0–2 children were also more prone to accept screening in comparison with women who had five or more children (OR 3.21). Finally, knowledge of cervical cancer and awareness of the existing screening program were also associated with increased acceptance rates (ORs of 5.90 and 4.20).
There are identifiable subgroups where cervical cancer screening can be increased in Dar es Salaam. Special attention should be paid to women of low education and women of high parity. In addition, knowledge and awareness raising campaigns that goes hand in hand with culturally acceptable screening services will likely lead to an increased uptake of cervical cancer screening.
Cervical cancer; Screening acceptance; Demographic characteristics; Knowledge; Tanzania
The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides low-income, uninsured women with screening and diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancer. Our study was conducted to describe the demographic and practice characteristics of participating and nonparticipating physicians, as well as their beliefs, adoption of new screening technologies, and recommendations for breast and cervical cancer screening.
From a 2006–2007 nationally representative survey, we identified 1,111 practicing primary care physicians who provide breast and cervical cancer screenings and assessed their recommendations using clinical vignettes related to screening initiation, frequency, and cessation. Responses of physicians participating in the NBCCEDP were compared with those from nonparticipating physicians.
Of the physicians surveyed, 15% reported participation in the NBCCEDP, 65% were not participants, and 20% were not sure or did not respond to this question. Program physicians were significantly more likely to practice in multispecialty settings, in a rural location, and in a hospital or clinic setting and had more patients who were female and insured by Medicaid or uninsured compared with nonprogram physicians. Beliefs about the effectiveness of screening tools or procedures in reducing breast or cervical cancer mortality were similar by program participation. Adoption of new technologies, including digital mammography and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, and making guideline-consistent recommendations for screening initiation, frequency, and cessation did not differ significantly by program participation.
Although there may be differences in physician characteristics and practice settings, the beliefs and screening practices for both breast and cervical cancer are similar between program and nonprogram providers.
Objective. Vietnamese American women are at the greatest risk for cervical cancer but have the lowest cervical cancer screening rates. This study was to determine whether demographic and acculturation, healthcare access, and knowledge and beliefs are associated with a prior history of cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese women. Methods. Vietnamese women (n = 1450) from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the study and completed baseline assessments. Logistic regression analyses were performed. Results. Overall levels of knowledge about cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) are low. Factors in knowledge, attitude, and beliefs domains were significantly associated with Pap test behavior. In multivariate analyses, physician recommendation for screening and having health insurance were positively associated with prior screening. Conclusion. Understanding the factors that are associated with cervical cancer screening will inform the development of culturally appropriate intervention strategies that would potentially lead to increasing cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese women.
Breast cancer is a growing concern in low- and middle-income countries (LMCs). We explore community health worker (CHW) programs and describe their potential use in LMCs. We use South Africa as an example of how CHWs could improve access to breast health care because of its middle-income status, existing cancer centers, and history of CHW programs. CHWs could assume three main roles along the cancer control continuum: health education, screening, and patient navigation. By raising awareness about breast cancer through education, women are more likely to undergo screening. Many more women can be screened resulting in earlier-stage disease if CHWs are trained to perform clinical breast exams. As patient navigators, CHWs can guide women through the screening and treatment process. It is suggested that these roles be combined within existing CHW programs to maximize resources and improve breast cancer outcomes in LMCs.
Filipino Americans are the fastest growing Asian minority group in the United States. There is limited knowledge about their breast cancer knowledge, screening practices and attitudes.
As part of the evaluation of the Asian Grocery Store-Based Cancer Education Program, 248 Filipino American women completed baseline and follow-up surveys, while an additional 58 took part in focus groups.
Compliance with annual clinical breast exam guidelines among women 40 to 49 years old was 43%, and annual mammography use among women 50 and over was 56%. The Asian Grocery Store-Based Cancer Education Program and complementary focus group study identified multiple barriers that hindered women from attending education programs, with time as the most frequently reported barrier.
The Asian Grocery Store-Based Cancer Education Program was reported to be a culturally acceptable and effective way of disseminating breast cancer information and one that addressed the women's most frequently reported barrier, lack of time.
In the US, Hispanic women have a higher incidence of, and mortality from, cervical cancer than non-Hispanic white women. The reason for this disparity may be attributable to both low rates of screening and poor adherence to recommended diagnostic follow-up after an abnormal Pap test. The 'Cervical Cancer Screening and Adherence to Follow-up Among Hispanic Women' study is a collaboration between a research institution and community partners made up of members from community based organizations, the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and the Breast, Cervical, and Colon Health Program of the Yakima District . The study will assess the efficacy of two culturally-appropriate, tailored educational programs designed to increase cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women, based in the Yakima Valley, Washington, US.
A parallel randomized-controlled trial of 600 Hispanic women aged 21–64, who are non-compliant with Papanicolau (Pap) test screening guidelines. Participants will be randomized using block randomization to (1) a control arm (usual care); (2) a low-intensity information program, consisting of a Spanish-language video that educates women on the importance of cervical cancer screening; or (3) a high-intensity program consisting of the video plus a ‘promotora’ or lay-community health educator-led, home based intervention to encourage cervical cancer screening. Participants who attend cervical cancer screening, and receive a diagnosis of an abnormal Pap test will be assigned to a patient navigator who will provide support and information to promote adherence to follow-up tests, and any necessary surgery or treatment. Primary endpoint: Participants will be tracked via medical record review at community-based clinics, to identify women who have had a Pap test within 7 months of baseline assessment. Medical record reviewers will be blinded to randomization arm. Secondary endpoint: An evaluation of the patient navigator program as a method to improve adherence and reduce time to follow-up among participants who receive an abnormal Pap test result. An additional secondary endpoint is the cost-effectiveness of the two different intensity intervention programs.
This culturally sensitive intervention aims to increase compliance and adherence to cervical screening in a Hispanic population. If effective, such interventions may reduce incidence of cervical cancer.
Hispanic women; Pap test; Cervical cancer screening; Cancer disparities
Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Samoan women and, compared to women of other ethnicities in the United States, Samoan women present at earlier ages with advanced stages of both breast and cervical cancers. Our goal was to gain a better understanding of issues that may prevent women in American Samoa from using available cancer screening resources.
Following approval from the Office of Samoan Affairs, we conducted four focus group sessions, in which a total of 55 women from urban and rural sites participated. Women were asked about their perceptions regarding barriers, knowledge, and past utilization of available cancer screening services.
Among the participants, professional women were more aware and had higher utilization rates of age-specific screening services. Barriers to health care services included lack of awareness and fears regarding poor confidentiality.
Our findings, which have been reviewed by participants, highlight the further need for outreach and education about female cancers. Screening rates could be increased and all services may benefit from increased collaboration between the American Samoa Department of Public Health and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Tropical Medical Center. Our findings underline a need for additional staff training in professionalism, particularly in the areas of confidentiality and respect for patients.
Evidence for the association between Human immunodeficiency virus infection and cervical cancer has been contrasting, with some studies reporting increased risk of cervical cancer among HIV positive women while others report no association. Similar evidence from Tanzania is scarce as HIV seroprevalence among cervical cancer patients has not been rigorously evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between HIV and tumor differentiation among patients with cervical cancer at Bugando Medical Centre and Teaching Hospital in Mwanza, North-Western Tanzania.
This was a descriptive analytical study involving suspected cervical cancer patients seen at the gynaecology outpatient clinic and in the gynaecological ward from November 2010 to March 2011.
A total of 91 suspected cervical cancer patients were seen during the study period and 74 patients were histologically confirmed with cervical cancer. The mean age of those confirmed of cervical cancer was 50.5 ± 12.5 years. Most patients (39 of the total 74–52.7%) were in early disease stages (stages IA-IIA). HIV infection was diagnosed in 22 (29.7%) patients. On average, HIV positive women with early cervical cancer disease had significantly more CD4+ cells than those with advanced disease (385.8 ± 170.4 95% CI 354.8-516.7 and 266.2 ± 87.5, 95% CI 213.3-319.0 respectively p = 0.042). In a binary logistic regression model, factors associated with HIV seropositivity were ever use of hormonal contraception (OR 5.79 95% CI 1.99-16.83 p = 0.001), aged over 50 years (OR 0.09 95% CI 0.02-0.36 p = 0.001), previous history of STI (OR 3.43 95% CI 1.10-10.80 p = 0.035) and multiple sexual partners OR 5.56 95% CI 1.18-26.25 p = 0.030). Of these factors, only ever use of hormonal contraception was associated with tumor cell differentiation (OR 0.16 95% CI 0.06-0.49 p = 0.001). HIV seropositivity was weakly associated with tumor cell differentiation in an unadjusted analysis (OR 0.21 95% CI 0.04-1.02 p = 0.053), but strong evidence for the association was found after adjusting for ever use of hormonal contraception with approximately six times more likelihood of HIV infection among women with poorly differentiated tumor cells compared to those with moderately and well differentiated cells (OR 5.62 95% CI 1.76-17.94 p = 0.004).
Results from this study setting suggest that HIV is common among cervical cancer patients and that HIV seropositivity may be associated with poor tumour differentiation. Larger studies in this and similar settings with high HIV prevalence and high burden of cervical cancer are required to document this relationship.
HIV; Cervical cancer; Clinical stage; Tumor differentiation; Tanzania
Cervical cancer is the first most common cancer in women in sub-Saharan Africa followed by breast cancer. In Ethiopia, the incidence of cervical cancer is high i.e. 35.9 per 100,000 women. Low level of awareness, lack of effective screening programs, overshadowed by other health priorities (such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome, tuberculosis and malaria) and insufficient attention to women’s health are the possible factors for the observed higher incidence rate of cervical cancers in the country. Data on knowledge of Ethiopian women regarding cervical cancer is lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of women about cervical cancer and associated factors.
A community based cross-sectional survey was conducted from April 4-16, 2010 in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. A total of 633 women aged 15 years and above were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire by 8 trained data collectors and 2 supervisors. SPSS Windows version 15.0 was employed for data entry and analysis.
Of all the respondents, 495 (78.7%) of them had heard about cervical cancer and only 195 (31%) of them were knowledgeable about the disease.
The knowledge of women on cervical cancer was found to be poor. Education about the disease must include information on risk factors, sign and symptoms of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer; Women; Knowledge
Cancer of the cervix is twice as likely to occur among Alaska Native women than among Caucasian women in the United State. To understand some of the factors associated with this high incidence, a random sample of 528 Alaska Native women were surveyed about their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding cervical cancer and its risk factors. From the results of the Alaska Native Women's Health Project study, the need for more public education related to cervical cancer prevention was identified. A review of existing educational resources revealed that no culturally appropriate materials related to cervical cancer had been developed for Alaska Native women. To increase Native women's knowledge about cervical cancer and to motivate them to obtain annual Papanicolaou tests, a 12-minute videotape presentation was developed specifically for this population. The videotape portrayed Alaska Native women as role models from the community discussing cervical cancer and Papanicolaou tests and engaging in healthy lifestyles. The videotape was pilot tested with several groups of Alaska Native women. The women were surveyed before and after watching the video and were asked to rate the tape and make comments about it. The results of the posttest demonstrated a significant increase in the knowledge level of the participants. The videotape was well received because of its cultural sensitivity and appropriateness. On the basis of this study, the development of additional culturally appropriate educational materials related to cancer prevention of Alaska Native women is recommended.