Cervical cancer prevention--cervical screening: science in evolution

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;34(4):739-60, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2007.09.004.


The incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in the United States has declined by more than 70% since the 1950s. This decline is attributed mainly to the introduction of Papanicolaou's test in the 1940s. Cervical cancer, however, remains the second most frequent of all female malignancies worldwide, with 80% of the cases occurring in resource-poor countries. This disparity is attributed primarily to the lack of screening and treatment of precancerous lesions. This article describes the traditional methods of screening for cervical cancer and innovative methods that might help overcome financial and cultural barriers to more widespread screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / economics
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears* / economics
  • Vaginal Smears* / methods


  • Biomarkers, Tumor