Cervical cancer screening and prevention in low-resource settings

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Mar;56(1):76-87. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31828237ac.


Cervical cancer is both preventable and curable, yet it remains one of the leading causes of mortality in women worldwide. Approximately 88% of cervical cancer cases are diagnosed in low-resource countries, yet very few resources are allocated to prevention and treatment programs. In fact, it is estimated that only 5% of women in low-resources countries are screened appropriately for cervical cancer. Cytology-based programs are not feasible because of lack of healthcare infrastructure and cost, thus alternative methods of cancer screening, such as visual inspection with acetic acid and HPV-DNA testing, have been intensively studied and are reviewed in this article.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Developing Countries / economics*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / economics*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Female
  • Human Papillomavirus DNA Tests / economics
  • Humans
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears / economics


  • Acetic Acid