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1.  Most women diagnosed with cervical cancer by a visual screening program in Tanzania completed treatment: evidence from a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):910.
Background
Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) to identify and treat pre-cancerous lesions is effective for cervical cancer prevention. Screening programs also facilitate screening and diagnosis of invasive cancers that must be referred for radiation therapy or chemotherapy. This study compared characteristics of women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer by a VIA screening program who did and did not follow up for treatment and who did and did not complete treatment at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Methods
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of ORCI screening referrals from the period November 2002 to June 2011. Women referred for treatment of invasive disease (n = 980) were identified from an existing database of all women attending the screening clinic during this period (n = 20,131) and matched to a dataset of all cervical cancer patients attending ORCI in this period (n = 8,240). Treatment information was abstracted from patient records of women who followed up. Records of a random sample (n = 333) of unscreened patients were reviewed for disease stage.
Results
Of the 980 women referred women, 829 (84.6%) sought treatment. Most of those women (82.8%) completed their prescribed radiation. Lower disease stage, having a skilled occupation, residence in Dar es Salaam, and younger age were independently associated with loss to follow-up. Higher disease stage, residence in Dar es Salaam, older age, and later year of first treatment appointment were independently associated with incomplete treatment among those who followed up. Significantly more screened women had stage 1 disease (14.0%) than unscreened women (7.8%).
Conclusions
Most women referred from the screening clinic completed treatment for their cancer at ORCI. Some of those lost to follow-up may have sought treatment elsewhere. In most cases, the screening clinic appears to facilitate diagnosis and treatment, rather than screening, for women with invasive cervical cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-910
PMCID: PMC4162936  PMID: 25187329
Cervical cancer; Screening; Visual inspection with acetic acid; Referral patterns; Radiation therapy; Tanzania
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.  Health-related quality of life and needs of care and support of adult Tanzanians with cancer: a mixed-methods study 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-133
PMCID: PMC3541157  PMID: 23121718
Cancer; Care; Health-related quality of life; Support; Tanzania
4.  Clinical and Epidemiologic Profile of Breast Cancer in Tanzania 
Breast disease  2010;31(1):33-41.
Purpose
Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease globally. Public health prevention measures require an understanding of the burden of breast cancer and its risk factors. The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical, pathologic, and epidemiologic characteristics of breast cancer patients in Tanzania.
Methods
Data was abstracted from the medical records of all breast cancer patients attending Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) over a 2-year period from July 2007 to June 2009. Tumor tissue paraffin blocks were collected for all patients with available tissues for the determination of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR). Data for all patients was analyzed descriptively and by using unconditional logistic regression, by comparing early stage (ES), defined as stages I and II and late stage (LS), defined as stages III and IV patients to obtain odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and P -values.
Results
Among the 488 patients, stage was determined for 356 patients, 90.7% of whom presented in LS. Of the 57 tumor tissues, 49.1% were ER−/PR−. Patients with ulceration (OR = 4.97; 95% CI = 1.07, 23.04; p = 0.04) and peau d’orange (OR = 6.78; 95% CI = 1.48, 31.17; p = 0.01) were more likely to present in LS rather than ES. Male breast cancer accounted for 2.9% of all breast cancers and inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) comprised 4.3–5.5% of cases based on registered t4d diagnosis or the criteria of IBC signs, if t4d was not reported in the medical records.
Conclusion
Most breast cancer patients in Tanzania are diagnosed at advanced disease stages with about half of the tumors being ER−/PR−. These data strongly support that reducing barriers to care, down-staging of disease at diagnosis, implementation of clinical guidelines for management of advanced cases, and palliative care are the four most essential factors that need to be addressed to reduce morbidity and mortality from breast cancer in Tanzania. Further research is needed to quantify the magnitude and molecular features of two relatively rare forms of breast cancer that may account for a greater proportion of the burden of breast cancer in Tanzania compared to the USA and Western Europe: male breast cancer and IBC.
doi:10.3233/BD-2009-0296
PMCID: PMC4276128  PMID: 21109721
Breast cancer; epidemiology; Tanzania; Sub-Saharan Africa; male breast cancer; inflammatory breast cancer
5.  Demographic, knowledge, attitudinal, and accessibility factors associated with uptake of cervical cancer screening among women in a rural district of Tanzania: Three public policy implications 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:22.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-22
PMCID: PMC3299640  PMID: 22233530
Public health; Policy; Cervical cancer screening; Women's health
6.  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
7.  Knowledge about Cervical Cancer and Barriers of Screening Program among Women in Wufeng County, a High-Incidence Region of Cervical Cancer in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67005.
Purpose
Cervical cancer screening is an effective method for reducing the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer, but the screening attendance rate in developing countries is far from satisfactory, especially in rural areas. Wufeng is a region of high cervical cancer incidence in China. This study aimed to investigate the issues that concern cervical cancer and screening and the factors that affect women’s willingness to undergo cervical cancer screening in the Wufeng area.
Participants and Methods
A cross-sectional survey of women was conducted to determine their knowledge about cervical cancer and screening, demographic characteristics and the barriers to screening.
Results
Women who were willing to undergo screenings had higher knowledge levels. “Anxious feeling once the disease was diagnosed” (47.6%), “No symptoms/discomfort” (34.1%) and “Do not know the benefits of cervical cancer screening” (13.4%) were the top three reasons for refusing cervical cancer screening. Women who were younger than 45 years old or who had lower incomes, positive family histories of cancer, secondary or higher levels of education, higher levels of knowledge and fewer barriers to screening were more willing to participate in cervical cancer screenings than women without these characteristics.
Conclusion
Efforts are needed to increase women’s knowledge about cervical cancer, especially the screening methods, and to improve their perceptions of the screening process for early detection to reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067005
PMCID: PMC3699583  PMID: 23843976
8.  Cervical cytological changes in HIV-infected patients attending care and treatment clinic at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
Background
Tanzania is among Sub-Saharan countries mostly affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic, females being more vulnerable than males. HIV infected women appear to have a higher rate of persistent infection by high risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) strongly associated with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) and invasive cervical carcinoma. Furthermore, although HIV infection and cervical cancer are major public health problems, the frequency and HIV/HPV association of cervical cancer and HSIL is not well documented in Tanzania, thus limiting the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.
Methods
A prospective unmatched, case-control study of HIV-seropositive, ≥ 18 years of age and consenting non-pregnant patients attending the care and treatment center (CTC) at Muhimbili National Hoospital (MNH) as cases was done between 2005 and 2006. HIV seronegative, non-pregnant and consenting women recruited from the Cervical Cancer Screening unit (CCSU) at ORCI were used as controls while those who did not consent to study participation and/or individuals under < 18 years were excluded. Pap smears were collected for routine cytodiagnosis and P53 immunohistochemistry (IHC). Cervical lesions were classified according to the Modified Bethesda System.
Results
A total of 170 participants from the two centers were recruited including 50 HIV-seronegative controls were from the CCSU. Ages ranged from 20-66 years (mean 40.5 years) for cases and 20-69 years (mean 41.6 years) for controls. The age group 36-45 years was the most affected by HIV (39.2%, n = 47). Cervicitis, squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) and carcinoma constituted 28.3% (n = 34), 38.3% (n = 46) and 5.8% (n = 7) respectively among cases, and 28% (n = 14), 34% (n = 17) and 2% (n = 1) for controls, although this was not statistically significant (P-value = 0.61). IHC showed that p53 was not detectable in HPV + Pap smears and cell blocks indicating possible degradation.
Conclusions
The frequency of SIL and carcinoma appeared to be higher among HIV-infected women on HAART compared to seronegative controls and as expected increased with age. HIV seropositive patients appeared to present earlier with SIL compared to those HIV seronegative suggesting a role of HIV in altering the natural history of HPV infection and cervical lesions. The absence of p53 immunoreactivity in HPV + lesions is indicative of the ability of HPV E6 proteins to interact with the tumor suppressor gene and pave way for viral-induced oncogenesis in the studied Tanzanian women.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-7-3
PMCID: PMC3298791  PMID: 22335893
9.  Long-Term Biological and Behavioural Impact of an Adolescent Sexual Health Intervention in Tanzania: Follow-up Survey of the Community-Based MEMA kwa Vijana Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(6):e1000287.
David Ross and colleagues conduct a follow-up survey of the community-based MEMA kwa Vijana (“Good things for young people”) trial in rural Tanzania to assess the long-term behavioral and biological impact of an adolescent sexual health intervention.
Background
The ability of specific behaviour-change interventions to reduce HIV infection in young people remains questionable. Since January 1999, an adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) intervention has been implemented in ten randomly chosen intervention communities in rural Tanzania, within a community randomised trial (see below; NCT00248469). The intervention consisted of teacher-led, peer-assisted in-school education, youth-friendly health services, community activities, and youth condom promotion and distribution. Process evaluation in 1999–2002 showed high intervention quality and coverage. A 2001/2 intervention impact evaluation showed no impact on the primary outcomes of HIV seroincidence and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seroprevalence but found substantial improvements in SRH knowledge, reported attitudes, and some reported sexual behaviours. It was postulated that the impact on “upstream” knowledge, attitude, and reported behaviour outcomes seen at the 3-year follow-up would, in the longer term, lead to a reduction in HIV and HSV-2 infection rates and other biological outcomes. A further impact evaluation survey in 2007/8 (∼9 years post-intervention) tested this hypothesis.
Methods and Findings
This is a cross-sectional survey (June 2007 through July 2008) of 13,814 young people aged 15–30 y who had attended trial schools during the first phase of the MEMA kwa Vijana intervention trial (1999–2002). Prevalences of the primary outcomes HIV and HSV-2 were 1.8% and 25.9% in males and 4.0% and 41.4% in females, respectively. The intervention did not significantly reduce risk of HIV (males adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] 0.91, 95%CI 0.50–1.65; females aPR 1.07, 95%CI 0.68–1.67) or HSV-2 (males aPR 0.94, 95%CI 0.77–1.15; females aPR 0.96, 95%CI 0.87–1.06). The intervention was associated with a reduction in the proportion of males reporting more than four sexual partners in their lifetime (aPR 0.87, 95%CI 0.78–0.97) and an increase in reported condom use at last sex with a non-regular partner among females (aPR 1.34, 95%CI 1.07–1.69). There was a clear and consistent beneficial impact on knowledge, but no significant impact on reported attitudes to sexual risk, reported pregnancies, or other reported sexual behaviours. The study population was likely to have been, on average, at lower risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections compared to other rural populations, as only youth who had reached year five of primary school were eligible.
Conclusions
SRH knowledge can be improved and retained long-term, but this intervention had only a limited effect on reported behaviour and no significant effect on HIV/STI prevalence. Youth interventions integrated within intensive, community-wide risk reduction programmes may be more successful and should be evaluated.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00248469
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about 2.5 million people become infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner, so individuals can reduce their risk of HIV infection by abstaining from sex, by delaying first sex, by having few partners, and by always using a condom. And, because nearly half of new HIV infections occur among youths (15- to 24-year-olds), programs targeted at adolescents that encourage these protective behaviors could have a substantial impact on the HIV epidemic. One such program is the MEMA kwa Vijana (“Good things for young people”) program in rural Tanzania. This program includes in-school sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education for pupils in their last three years of primary education (12- to 15-year-olds) that provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to delay sexual debut and to reduce sexual risk taking. Between 1999 and 2002, the program was trialed in ten randomly chosen rural communities in the Mwanza Region of Tanzania; ten similar communities that did not receive the intervention acted as controls. Since 2004, the program has been scaled up to cover more communities.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the quality and coverage of the MEMA kwa Vijana program was good, a 2001/2002 evaluation found no evidence that the intervention had reduced the incidence of HIV (the proportion of the young people in the trial who became HIV positive during the follow-up period) or the prevalence (the proportion of the young people in the trial who were HIV positive at the end of the follow-up period) of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2, another sexually transmitted virus). However, the evaluation found improvements in SRH knowledge, in reported sexual attitudes, and in some reported sexual behaviors. Evaluations of other HIV prevention programs in other developing countries have also failed to provide strong evidence that such programs decrease the risk of HIV infection or other biological outcomes such as the frequency of other sexually transmitted infections or pregnancies, even when SRH knowledge improves. One possibility is that it takes some time for improved SRH knowledge to be reflected in true changes in sexual behavior and in HIV prevalence. In this follow-up study, therefore, researchers investigate the long-term impact of the MEMA kwa Vijana program on HIV and HSV-2 prevalence and ask whether the improvement in knowledge, reported attitudes and sexual risk behaviours seen at the 3-year follow up has persisted.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In 2007/8, the researchers surveyed nearly 14,000 young people who had attended the trial schools between 1999 and 2002. Each participant had their HIV and HSV-2 status determined and answered questions (for example, “can HIV be caught by sexual intercourse (making love) with someone,” and “if a girl accepts a gift from a boy, must she agree to have sexual intercourse (make love) with him?”) to provide three composite sexual knowledge scores and one composite attitude score. 1.8% of the male and 4.0% of the female participants were HIV positive; 25.9% and 41.4% of the male and female participants, respectively, were HSV-2 positive. The prevalences were similar among the young people whose trial communities had been randomly allocated to receive the MEMA kwa Vijana Program and those whose communities had not received it, indicating that the MEMA kwa Vijana intervention program had not reduced the risk of HIV or HSV-2. The intervention program was associated, however, with a reduction in the proportion of men reporting more than four sexual partners in their lifetime and with an increase in reported condom use at last sex with a non-regular partner among women. Finally, although the intervention had still increased SRH knowledge, it now had had no impact on reported attitudes to sexual risk, reported pregnancies, or other reported risky sexual behaviors beyond what might have happened due to chance.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in the MEMA kwa Vijana trial, SRH knowledge improved and that this improved knowledge was retained for many years. Disappointingly, however, this intervention program had only a limited effect on reported sexual behaviors and no effect on HIV and HSV-2 prevalence at the 9-year follow-up. Although these findings may not be generalizable to other adolescent populations, they suggest that intervention programs that target only adolescents might not be particularly effective. Young people might find it hard to put their improved skills and knowledge into action when challenged, for example, by widespread community attitudes such as acceptance of older male–younger female relationships. Thus, the researchers suggest that the integration of youth HIV prevention programs within risk reduction programs that tackle sexual norms and expectations in all age groups might be a more successful approach and should be evaluated.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000287.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Rachel Jewkes
More information about the MEMA kwa Vijana program is available at their Web site
Information is available from the Programme for Research and Capacity Building in Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV in Developing Countries on recent and ongoing research on HIV infection and other STIs
Information is available from the World Health Organization on HIV and on the health of young people
Information on HIV is available from UNAIDS
Information on HIV in children and adolescents is available from UNICEF
Information on HIV prevention interventions in the education sector is available from UNESCO
Information on HIV infection and AIDS is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information on HIV/AIDS and on HIV/AIDS among youth (in English and Spanish)
HIV InSitehas comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including links to information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV and AIDS prevention and AIDS and sex education (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000287
PMCID: PMC2882431  PMID: 20543994
10.  Risk factors for VIA positivity and determinants of screening attendances in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1055.
Background
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”.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1055
PMCID: PMC3552680  PMID: 23216752
Cervical cancer; Screening; VIA; HPV; HIV; Tanzania
11.  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
12.  Myths and misconceptions about cervical cancer among Zambian women: rapid assessment by peer educators 
Global health promotion  2010;17(2 0):47-50.
Objective
To make a rapid assessment of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the causes of cervical cancer and lack of screening among unscreened low-income Zambian women.
Methods
We initiated a door-to-door community-based initiative, led by peer educators, to inform unscreened women about the existence of a new see-and-treat cervical cancer prevention program. During home visits peer educators posed the following two questions to women: 1. What do you think causes cervical cancer? 2. Why haven’t you been screened for cervical cancer? The most frequent types of responses gathered in this exercise were analyzed thematically.
Results
Peer educators contacted over 1100 unscreened women over a period of two months. Their median age was 33 years, a large majority (58%) were not educated beyond primary school, over two-thirds (71%) did not have monthly incomes over 500,000 Zambian Kwacha (US$100) per month, and just over half (51%) were married and cohabiting with their spouses. Approximately 75% of the women engaged in discussions had heard of cervical cancer and had heard of the new cervical cancer prevention program in the local clinic. The responses of unscreened low-income Zambian women to questions posed by peer educators in urban Lusaka reflect the variety of prevalent ‘folk’ myths and misconceptions surrounding cervical cancer and its prevention methods.
Conclusion
The information in our rapid assessment can serve as a basis for developing future educational and intervention campaigns for improving uptake of cervical cancer prevention services in Zambia. It also speaks to the necessity of ensuring that programs addressing women’s reproductive health take into account societal inputs at the time they are being developed and implemented. Taking a community-based participatory approach to program development and implementation will help ensure sustainability and impact.
doi:10.1177/1757975910363938
PMCID: PMC4123628  PMID: 20595342
cervical cancer; misconceptions; myths; peer educators
13.  Cervical cancer screening: knowledge, health perception and attendance rate among Hong Kong Chinese women 
Purpose:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusion:
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.
PMCID: PMC2971734  PMID: 21072314
cervical screening attendance; cervical cancer; health perception and knowledge; perceived health control; Chinese
14.  Cancer Screening Practices Among Physicians in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program 
Journal of Women's Health  2011;20(10):1479-1484.
Abstract
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2010.2530
PMCID: PMC3233212  PMID: 21774673
15.  Injectable and Oral Contraceptive Use and Cancers of the Breast, Cervix, Ovary, and Endometrium in Black South African Women: Case–Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(3):e1001182.
A case-control study conducted in South Africa provides new estimates of the risk of specific cancers of the female reproductive system associated with use of injectable and oral contraceptives.
Background
Oral contraceptives are known to influence the risk of cancers of the female reproductive system. Evidence regarding the relationship between injectable contraceptives and these cancers is limited, especially in black South Africans, among whom injectable contraceptives are used more commonly than oral contraceptives.
Methods and Findings
We analysed data from a South African hospital-based case–control study of black females aged 18–79 y, comparing self-reported contraceptive use in patients with breast (n = 1,664), cervical (n = 2,182), ovarian (n = 182), and endometrial (n = 182) cancer, with self-reported contraceptive use in 1,492 control patients diagnosed with cancers with no known relationship to hormonal contraceptive use. We adjusted for potential confounding factors, including age, calendar year of diagnosis, education, smoking, alcohol, parity/age at first birth, and number of sexual partners. Among controls, 26% had used injectable and 20% had used oral contraceptives. For current and more recent users versus never users of oral or injectable contraceptives, the odds ratios (ORs) for breast cancer were significantly increased in users of oral and/or injectable contraceptives (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.28–2.16, p<0.001) and separately among those exclusively using oral (1.57, 1.03–2.40, p = 0.04) and exclusively using injectable (OR 1.83, 1.31–2.55, p<0.001) contraceptives; corresponding ORs for cervical cancer were 1.38 (1.08–1.77, p = 0.01), 1.01 (0.66–1.56, p = 0.96), and 1.58 (1.16–2.15, p = 0.004). There was no significant increase in breast or cervical cancer risk among women ceasing hormonal contraceptive use ≥10 y previously (p = 0.3 and p = 0.9, respectively). For durations of use ≥5 y versus never use, the ORs of ovarian cancer were 0.60 (0.36–0.99, p = 0.04) for oral and/or injectable contraceptive use and 0.07 (0.01–0.49, p = 0.008) for injectable use exclusively; corresponding ORs for endometrial cancer were 0.44 (0.22–0.86, p = 0.02) and 0.36 (0.11–1.26, p = 0.1).
Conclusions
In this study, use of oral and of injectable hormonal contraceptives was associated with a transiently increased risk of breast and cervical cancer and, for long durations of use, with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. The observed effects of injectable and of oral contraceptives on cancer risk in this study did not appear to differ substantially.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Hormonal contraceptives are among the most commonly used medications. Globally, more than 210 million women currently use either hormonal contraceptive pills or injectable contraceptives. Contraceptive pills usually contain manmade versions of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone (the combined oral contraceptive, or “pill”); most injectable hormonal contraceptives contain only manmade progesterone preparations. Hormonal contraceptives, which prevent pregnancy by disrupting the cyclical changes in estrogen and progesterone levels that prepare the body for pregnancy, have revolutionized birth control since they first became available in the early 1960s. However, it is now known that taking the pill also influences women's risk of developing cancers of the female reproductive system. Current and recent users have an increased risk of developing breast and cervical cancer (the cervix is the structure that connects the womb to the vagina) compared to never users, although this increased risk quickly disappears when women stop taking the pill. By contrast, women who have used the pill have a reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer and cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer) compared to never users that increases with the duration of pill use and persists for many years after use ceases. These effects on reproductive system cancers are thought to occur because these cancers depend on naturally occurring sex hormones for their development and growth.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the evidence that the pill influences the risk of developing cancers of the female reproductive system is extensive, much less is known about how injectable hormonal contraceptives affect cancer risk. In this hospital-based case–control study (a study that compares the characteristics of people with and without a specific condition), the researchers investigate the relationship between the use of oral and injectable hormonal contraceptives and cancers of the breast, cervix, ovary, and endometrium among black South African women. Injectable contraceptives have been used for longer in South Africa than elsewhere and are used more commonly than oral contraceptives among black South African women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
As part of the Johannesburg Cancer Case Control Study, which recruits black patients attending Johannesburg public referral hospitals for cancer treatment, the researchers compared hormonal contraceptive use in women with breast, cervical, ovarian, or endometrial cancer with contraceptive use in women diagnosed with other cancers such as lung, colon, and rectal cancers, which are not known to be influenced by hormonal contraceptives. Among the controls, a quarter had used injectable contraceptives and a fifth had used oral contraceptives. After adjusting for other factors that might influence cancer risk such as age, smoking, and number of sexual partners, the odds ratio (OR) of breast cancer among current and recent users of oral and/or injectable contraceptives compared to never users was 1.66. That is, the risk of developing breast cancer among current and recent users of hormonal contraceptives was 1.66 times that among never users. For women using oral contraceptives exclusively or injectable contraceptives exclusively, the ORs of breast cancer were 1.57 and 1.83, respectively. There were also increases in cervical cancer risk among current and recent users of hormonal contraceptives compared to never users, but no significant increase in breast or cervical cancer risk among women who had ceased hormonal contraceptive use more than ten years previously. Finally, the use of hormonal contraceptives for more than five years reduced the risk of both ovarian and endometrial cancer.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, among black women in South Africa, the use of oral or injectable hormonal contraceptives is associated with a transiently increased risk of breast and cervical cancer, and that extended use of these contraceptives is associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Moreover, they suggest that the effects of oral versus injectable contraceptives on cancer risk do not differ substantially, although for endometrial and ovarian cancer the small number of cases exposed to injectable contraceptives limits the accuracy of the risk estimates. Other limitations of this study include the possibility that the findings may be affected by uncontrolled confounding. That is, women who used hormonal contraceptives may have shared other unidentified characteristics that affected their cancer risk. Nevertheless, these findings provide new information about the effects of oral and injectable hormonal contraceptives on cancer risk that should help women make informed decisions about their choice of contraceptive method.
Additional Information
Please access these web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001182.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information on breast cancer (including personal stories from breast cancer survivors), cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer for patients and health professionals, and a fact sheet on oral contraceptives and cancer risk (in English and Spanish)
Cancer Research UK also provides information on breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer and information about the birth control pill and cancer risk
Eyes on the Prize, an online support group for women who have had cancers of the female reproductive system, has personal stories; further personal stories about breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer are provided by the charity Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001182
PMCID: PMC3295825  PMID: 22412354
16.  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
17.  Determinants of Cervical screening services uptake among 18–49 year old women seeking services at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisumu, Kenya 
Background
Kenyan women aged ≥15 years are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Currently, cervical cytology reduces cervical cancer incidence, since it allows for early diagnosis and treatment. Uptake of cervical screening services is a priority research area in Kenya. Central to the success of any screening programme is its ability to identify, reach out and screen the defined target population. Cervical screening coverage in Kenya is currently at 3.2%. In Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in Nyanza, the number screened for cervical cancer is low (averagely 3/day). Thus the current study sought to identify factors influencing uptake of cervical screening services at the facility.
Methods
In a cross-sectional study, knowledge, perceptions and cues for action associated with self-reported cervical screening uptake were explored. The targeted population (n = 424), purposively selected were women of child-bearing age (18–49 years) visiting JOOTRH. Data on socio-demographic status (age, level of education, marital status, job status, income level), knowledge of cervical cancer, perceptions on severity and susceptibility to the disease were collected using self-administered structured questionnaires. Statistical significance of differences in proportions were determined by chi-square analyses while logistic regression analyses were used to identify determinants of self-reported uptake of the service.
Results
Self-reported screening uptake was 17.5%. There was a strong positive association between age (P < 0.0001), level of education (P < 0.0001) and income levels (P = 0.005) with the uptake of the service. Knowledge level on the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer was an important determinant for being screened for cervical cancer (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, those who said they didn’t know about the disease (OR, 26.84, 95% CI, 6.07-118.61, P < 0.0001) or were not aware about susceptibility to it (OR, 2.37, 95% CI, 1.10-5.08, P = 0.02) had a higher likelihood of not being screened. On cues for action, those who attended the child welfare clinic were more likely to be screened (OR, 2.31, 95% CI, 1.17-3.93, P = 0.03).
Conclusion
Knowledge, perception of higher susceptibility and attending child welfare clinic are key determinants of self-reported uptake of cervical screening. Increasing knowledge, enhancing health education and providing free services may increase uptake among women population in such settings.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-335) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-335
PMCID: PMC4271847  PMID: 25100298
Cervical; Women; Screening services; Determinants; Kenya
18.  Sex-Specific Immunization for Sexually Transmitted Infections Such as Human Papillomavirus: Insights from Mathematical Models 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001147.
Johannes Bogaards and colleagues use mathematical models to investigate whether vaccinating females only, males only, or both sexes is the best way to achieve the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of sexually-transmitted infections
Background
Sex-specific differences regarding the transmissibility and the course of infection are the rule rather than the exception in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Human papillomavirus (HPV) provides an example: disease outcomes differ between men and women, as does the potential for transmission to the opposite sex. HPV vaccination of preadolescent girls was recently introduced in many countries, and inclusion of boys in the vaccination programs is being discussed. Here, we address the question of whether vaccinating females only, males only, or both sexes is the most effective strategy to reduce the population prevalence of an STI like HPV.
Methods and Findings
We use a range of two-sex transmission models with varying detail to identify general criteria for allocating a prophylactic vaccine between both sexes. The most effective reduction in the population prevalence of infection is always achieved by single-sex vaccination; vaccinating the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence is the preferred strategy in most circumstances. Exceptions arise only when the higher prevaccine prevalence is due to a substantially lower rate of natural immunity, or when natural immunity is lifelong, and a prolonged duration of infectiousness coincides with increased transmissibility. Predictions from simple models were confirmed in simulations based on an elaborate HPV transmission model. Our analysis suggests that relatively inefficient genital transmission from males to females might render male vaccination more effective in reducing overall infection levels. However, most existing HPV vaccination programs have achieved sufficient coverage to continue with female-only vaccination.
Conclusions
Increasing vaccine uptake among preadolescent girls is more effective in reducing HPV infection than including boys in existing vaccination programs. As a rule, directing prophylactic immunization at the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence results in the largest reduction of the population prevalence.
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, more than a quarter of a million women (85% of them in developing countries) die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse (HPV is one of more than thirty sexually transmissable organisms that, globally, cause many millions of sexually transmitted infections every year). 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). Most people become infected with HPV at some time during their life, but most never know they have been infected. Some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area, and several—in particular HPV16 and HPV18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer (and some other cancers, including anal, penile, head, and neck cancers). 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 by detecting the cancer early, when it can be treated. However, it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Moreover, most women in developing countries do not have access to screening. Because infection with specific HPV types can cause the development of some types of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to prevent cervical cancer. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV16 and HPV18, and HPV vaccination programs have been introduced in several countries. These programs are currently directed only at girls because HPV-related illness and death are higher among women than men, but should boys also be included in HPV vaccination programs? Men would benefit directly from immunization against HPV-related diseases, but, in addition, vaccination of boys might help to reduce the circulation of HPV in the population, thereby indirectly improving the protection of women through so-called “herd immunity.” In this study, the researchers used mathematical models to investigate whether vaccinating girls only, boys only, or both sexes is the most effective way to reduce the population prevalence of HPV infection (the proportion of the population infected with HPV).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers first used a range of standard two-sex mathematical models of infection and transmission in heterosexual populations to identify general criteria for allocating an HPV vaccine between the sexes. They found that the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of HPV infection was always achieved by single-sex vaccination and that, in most situations, the preferred strategy was to vaccinate the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence of HPV infection. The researchers confirmed these predictions using a more elaborate HPV transmission model that incorporated differences among individuals in age and level of sexual activity. Importantly, this second analysis also suggested that for existing girl-only vaccination programs, increasing coverage of vaccination among girls would bolster herd immunity more effectively than switching to a policy of vaccinating both sexes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this study suggest that increasing vaccine uptake among preadolescent girls is a more effective way to reduce HPV infection than including boys in existing vaccination programs. They also suggest that directing HPV vaccination at the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence of infection will reduce the population prevalence of HPV most effectively. Although the accuracy of these findings is dependent on the assumptions included in the mathematical transmission models used by the researchers, these findings support a policy of increasing female HPV vaccine coverage as far as possible, within the limits set by vaccine acceptance and economic constraints. More generally, these findings suggest that single-sex preventative interventions might be the best way to reduce heterosexual transmission of other sexually transmitted infections and that targeting the sex with the highest prevalence of infection might achieve the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of these common diseases.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001147.
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 HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and HPV vaccination (available in several languages and including a short video of girls talking about HPV vaccination)
The PREHDICT project investigates health-economic modeling of prevention strategies for HPV-related diseases in European countries; information about this project is available from the European Cervical Cancer Association
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from Macmillan Cancer Support
Personal stories about cervical cancer are available through the charity Healthtalkonline
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer and other sexually transmitted infections (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001147
PMCID: PMC3243713  PMID: 22205887
19.  Impact of health education intervention on knowledge and perception of cervical cancer and cervical screening uptake among adult women in rural communities in Nigeria 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):814.
Background
Cervical cancer is a disease of public health importance affecting many women and contributing to avoidably high levels of cancer deaths in Nigeria. In spite of the relative ease of prevention, the incidence is on the increase. This study aimed to determine the effect of health education on the awareness, knowledge and perception of cervical cancer and screening among women in rural Nigerian communities.
Methods
The study design was quasi-experimental. The study was carried out among adult women in Odogbolu (intervention) and Ikenne (control) local government areas (LGA) of Ogun state. Three hundred and fifty (350) women were selected per group by multistage random sampling technique. Data was collected by semi structured interviews with the aid of questionnaire. The intervention consisted of structured health education based on a movie.
Result
The intervention raised the level of awareness of cervical cancer and screening to 100% (p < 0.0001). The proportion of women with very good knowledge of cervical cancer and screening rose from 2% to 70.5% (χ2 = 503.7, p < 0.0001) while the proportion of those with good perception rose from 5.1% to 95.1% (p < 0.0001). The mean knowledge and mean perception scores were also increased (p < 0.0001). There was increase in the proportion of women who had undertaken cervical screening from 4.3% to 8.3% (p = 0.038). The major reason stated by the women for not having had cervical screening done was lack of awareness about cervical cancer and screening. There was statistically significant difference between the intervention and control groups concerning their knowledge attitude and practice towards cervical and screening (p < 0.05) after the intervention.
Conclusion
Multiple media health education based on a movie is effective in creating awareness for and improving the knowledge and perception of adult women about cervical cancer and screening. It also improves the uptake of cervical cancer screening. The creation of awareness is very crucial to the success of a cervical cancer prevention programme.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-814
PMCID: PMC4133628  PMID: 25103189
Cervical cancer; Cervical screening; Knowledge; Perception; Awareness; Participatory health education; Movie
20.  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
21.  Socioeconomic disparity in cervical cancer screening among Korean women: 1998–2010 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:553.
Background
Cervical cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer among Korean women and is one of the most preventable cancers in the world. This study aimed to investigate the change in cervical cancer screening rates, the level of socioeconomic disparities in cervical cancer screening participation, and whether there was a reduction in these disparities between 1998 and 2010.
Methods
Using the Korean Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, women 30 years or older without a history of cervical cancer and who completed a health questionnaire, physical examination, and nutritional survey were included (n = 17,105). Information about participation in cervical cancer screening was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between cervical cancer screening participation and the socioeconomic status of the women.
Results
The cervical cancer screening rate increased from 40.5% in 1998 to 52.5% in 2010. Socioeconomic disparities influenced participation, and women with lower educational levels and lower household income were less likely to be screened. Compared with the lowest educational level, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for screening in women with the highest educational level were 1.56 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05–2.30) in 1998, and 1.44 (95% CI: 1.12–1.87) in 2010. Compared with women with the lowest household income level, the adjusted ORs for screening in women with the highest household income level were 1.80 (95% CI: 1.22–2.68), 2.82 (95% CI: 2.01–3.96), and 1.45 (95% CI: 1.08–1.94) in 2001, 2005, and 2010, respectively.
Conclusion
Although population-wide progress has been made in participation in cervical cancer screening over the 12-year period, socioeconomic status remained an important factor in reducing compliance with cancer screening.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-553
PMCID: PMC3682861  PMID: 23742100
Cervical cancer; Screening; Socioeconomic status; Disparity
22.  Implementation of cervical cancer prevention services for HIV-infected women in Zambia: measuring program effectiveness 
HIV therapy  2010;4(6):703-722.
Background
Cervical cancer kills more women in low-income nations than any other malignancy. A variety of research and demonstration efforts have proven the efficacy and effectiveness of low-cost cervical cancer prevention methods but none in routine program implementation settings of the developing world, particularly in HIV-infected women.
Methods
In our public sector cervical cancer prevention program in Zambia, nurses conduct screening using visual inspection with acetic acid aided by digital cervicography. Women with visible lesions are offered same-visit cryotherapy or referred for histologic evaluation and clinical management. We analyzed clinical outcomes and modeled program effectiveness among HIV-infected women by estimating the total number of cervical cancer deaths prevented through screening and treatment.
Results
Between 2006 and 2008, 6572 HIV-infected women were screened, 53.6% (3523) had visible lesions, 58.5% (2062) were eligible for cryotherapy and 41.5% (1461) were referred for histologic evaluation. A total of 75% (1095 out of 1462) of patients who were referred for evaluation complied. Pathology results from 65% (715 out of 1095) of women revealed benign abnormalities in 21% (151), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) I in 30% (214), CIN 2/3 in 33% (235) and invasive cervical cancer in 16.1% (115, of which 69% were early stage). Using a conditional probability model, we estimated that our program prevented 142 cervical cancer deaths (high/low range: 238–96) among the 6572 HIV-infected women screened, or one cervical cancer death prevented per 46 (corresponding range: 28–68) HIV-infected women screened.
Conclusion
Our prevention efforts using setting-appropriate human resources and technology have reduced morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer among HIV-infected women in Zambia. Financial support for implementing cervical cancer prevention programs integrated within HIV/AIDS care programs is warranted. Our prevention model can serve as the implementation platform for future low-cost HPV-based screening methods, and our results may provide the basis for comparison of programmatic effectiveness of future prevention efforts.
doi:10.2217/hiv.10.52
PMCID: PMC4237284  PMID: 25419240
cervical cancer; HIV/AIDS; program effectiveness; screening; Zambia
23.  Barriers for early detection of cancer amongst Indian rural women 
South Asian Journal of Cancer  2014;3(2):122-127.
Context:
Breast and cervical cancer are the most common causes of cancer mortality among women worldwide, but actually they are largely preventable diseases. Healthcare providers in developing countries regularly see women with advanced, incurable cancers. Health of a rural Indian women and her access to health facility is compromised due to sociocultural, economical, and environmental factors.
Aims:
To know the problems associated with early detection of cancers in rural women.
Settings and Design:
Rural area and cross-sectional.
Subjects and Methods:
Study subject: Women of 35 years and above. Exclusion criteria: Not willing to participate. Sample size: All eligible women of selected villages.
Sampling Technique:
Random selection of villages. Study duration: 2 months. Study tools: Pretested questionnaire.
Statistical Analysis Used:
Percentages, χ2 test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate analysis.
Results:
Awareness about symptoms, possibility of early detection, available tests, possibility of cure of disease was low. Main barrier for screening was cognitive, that is, ‘don’t know’ answer by 83.99% women for cancer cervix, 84.93%, for cancer breast, and 67.26% for oral cancer. Awareness score was significantly associated with age (χ2 = 17.77, P = 0.001), education (χ2 = 34.62, P = 0.000), and income (χ2 = 16.72, P = 0.002); while attitude score with age (χ2 = 16.27, P = 0.012) and education (χ2 = 25.16, P = 0.003). Practice score was significantly associated with age (χ2 = 11.28, P = 0.023), education (χ2 = 32.27, P = 0.003), and occupation (χ2 = 10.69, P = 0.03). Awareness, attitude, and practice score of women having history of cancer in family or relative was significantly high than women without history.
Conclusions:
Cognitive barrier was the important barrier which has to be taken care of.
doi:10.4103/2278-330X.130449
PMCID: PMC4014643  PMID: 24818108
Barriers; early detection; rural; screening
24.  Confusion regarding cervical cancer screening and chlamydia screening among sexually active young women 
Objective
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently recommended that cervical cancer screening begin at 21 years of age and occur biennially for low-risk women younger than 30 years. Earlier studies suggested that women may have limited understanding of the differences between cervical cancer screening and chlamydia screening. This study assessed the knowledge of chlamydia and cervical cancer screening tests and schedules in younger women.
Methods
A survey regarding knowledge of chlamydia and cervical cancer screening was administered to 60 younger women aged 18–25 years in an obstetrics and gynaecology clinic at an urban community health centre.
Results
The majority of respondents recalled having had a Pap smear (93.3%) or chlamydia test (75.0%). Although many respondents understood that a Pap smear checks for cervical cancer (88.3%) and human papillomavirus (68.3%), 71.7% mistakenly believed that a Pap smear screens for chlamydia. No respondent correctly identified the revised cervical cancer screening schedule, and 83.3% selected annual screening. Few respondents (23.3%) identified the annual chlamydia screening schedule and 26.7% were unsure.
Conclusion
Many younger women in an urban community health centre believed that cervical cancer screening also screens for chlamydia and were confused about chlamydia screening schedules. As there is limited knowledge of the revised ACOG cervical cancer screening guidelines, there is a risk that currently low chlamydia screening rates may decrease further after these new guidelines are better known. Obstetrician gynaecologists and primary care providers should educate younger women about the differences between chlamydia and cervical cancer screening and encourage sexually active younger women to have annual chlamydia screening.
doi:10.1136/sextrans-2011-050289
PMCID: PMC3724364  PMID: 22123163
25.  Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing on self-collected specimens: perceptions among HIV positive women attending rural and urban clinics in South Africa 
Introduction
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cervical cancer is treatable if detected timeously, yet only 20% of South African women have ever been for a Pap smear in their lifetime due to limited access to screening, transport or child care responsibilities.
Objective
To evaluate the acceptability of self-collection for cervical cancer screening. We aimed to identify which self-collection device women prefer and if they would consider using them for routine cervical cancer screening.
Methods
HIV-positive women (>18 years) from urban and rural HIV clinics were interviewed following an education session on HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. Participants were shown three self-collection devices; (i) an Evalyn cervical brush, (ii) a Delphilavager and (iii) a tampon-like plastic wand before completing a short questionnaire.
Results
A total of 106 women from the urban (n = 52) and rural (n = 54) clinic were interviewed. Overall 51% of women preferred the cervical brush, while fewer women preferred the tampon-like plastic wand (31%) or lavage sampler (18%). More than 75% of women from the rural site preferred the cervical brush, compared to 22% from the urban site (p < 0.001). Women from the urban clinic preferred the tampon-like plastic wand (45%) and then the lavage sampler (33%), as compared to women from the rural clinic (19% and 4%, respectively).
Conclusion
Women from urban or rural settings had different preferences for the various self-collection devices. Patient self-collection with HPV testing may be an acceptable way to improve coverage to cervical cancer screening in high risk HIV-seropositive women.
doi:10.11604/pamj.2014.17.189.3454
PMCID: PMC4228994  PMID: 25396015
HIV-positive women; self-collection; human papillomavirus; acceptability; cervical cancer; resource-limited setting; South Africa

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