Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection; The Role of Nurse and Midwives


Worldwide 31% of cancers in women are in the breast or uterine cervix. Cancer of the uterine cervix is one of the ‍leading causes of cancer death among women. The estimated new cancer cervix cases per year is 500.000 of which ‍79% occur in the developing countries, where it is consistently the leading cancer and there are in excess of 233.000 ‍deaths from the disease. The major risk factors for cervical cancer include early age at first intercourse, multiple ‍sexual partners, low socioeconomic status, HSV, HPV infection, cigarette smoking and extended use of oral ‍contraceptives. Well organized and applied public education and mass screening programmes can substantially ‍reduce the mortality from cervical cancer and the incidence of invasive disease in the population. Women who are ‍health conscious are more likely to have used screening services (mammogram, pap-smear test) and performed ‍breast-self examination and genital hygiene. There are both opportunities and burdens for nurses and midwives ‍working in primary health care settings. This is a prime example of a role of public education in cancer prevention ‍with reference to population-based cancer screening programs. ‍