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Review
, 84 (2), 101-8

Screening for Cervical Cancer in Developing Countries

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Review

Screening for Cervical Cancer in Developing Countries

H S Cronjé. Int J Gynaecol Obstet.

Abstract

Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy amongst females in developing countries, mainly due to a lack of precursor screening. This absence of screening is the result of inherent disadvantages of the Pap smear: high cost, low sensitivity, the need for a laboratory with high human expertise and a complex screening program logistic system. The prerequisites for screening in a developing country include a screening method that is affordable, which can be effectively applied once in a lifetime at the age of 30-35 years, provide an immediate result and thereby allowing for on-site treatment of positive cases. None of the current screening methods comply with these prerequisites. More research is necessary into different combinations of tests, which improve sensitivity. On-site human papillomavirus (HPV) identification, alone or in combination with other tests, is promising. Another promising development is immunization against HPV infection, either as a preventative measure or for stimulating immunity in infected women.

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