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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - PloS one
Title Prevalence, predictors, and same day treatment of positive VIA enhanced by digital cervicography and histopathology results in a cervical cancer prevention program in Cameroon
Author(s)
Volume 11
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers e0157319
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157319
Abstract
Background

In 2007, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) implemented a screen-and-treat cervical cancer prevention program using visual inspection with acetic acid enhanced by digital cervicography (VIA-DC).

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed 46,048 medical records of women who received care through the CBCHS Women’s Health Program from 2007 through 2014 to determine the prevalence and predictors of positive VIA-DC, rates of same day treatment, and cohort prevalence of invasive cervical cancer (ICC).

Results

Of the 44,979 women who were screened for cervical cancer, 9.0% were VIA-DC-positive, 66.8% were VIA-DC-negative, 22.0% were VIA-DC-inadequate (normal ectocervix, but portions of the transformation zone were obscured), and 2.2% were VIA-DC-uncertain (cervical abnormalities confounding VIA-DC interpretation). Risk factors significantly associated with VIA-DC-positive screen were HIV-positivity, young age at sexual debut, higher lifetime number of sexual partners, low education status and higher gravidity. In 2014, 31.1% of women eligible for cryotherapy underwent same day treatment. Among the 32,788 women screened from 2007 through 2013, 201 cases of ICC were identified corresponding to a cohort prevalence of 613 per 100,000.

Conclusions

High rate of VIA-DC-positive screens suggests a significant burden of potential cervical cancer cases and highlights the need for expansion of cervical cancer screening and prevention throughout the 10 regions of Cameroon. VIA-DC-inadequate rates were also high, especially in older women, and additional screening methods are needed to confirm whether these results are truly negative. In comparison to similar screening programs in sub-Saharan Africa there was low utilization of same day cryotherapy treatment. Further studies are required to characterize possible program specific barriers to treatment, for example cultural demands, health system challenges and cost of procedure. The prevalence of ICC among women who presented for screening was high and requires further investigation.

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