Factors Associated with Cervical Cancer Screening Amongst Women of Reproductive Age from Yucatan, Mexico


This study aimed to analyse the participation of women of reproductive age in a cancer screening program,and survey reasons for non-screening in a region from Mexico with high cervical cancer mortality. A total of281 obstetric patients from a previous HPV study in a social security hospital during 2008-2009 were included.Reasons for not participating in the screening were directly asked. HPV positive patients were invited toparticipate in an informative workshop, and they filled in a knowledge questionnaire. The women ranged in agefrom 14-47 years; 123 (43.8%) had never participated in screening, of which 97 (78.9%) had their first sexualintercourse 2 to 10 years ago, resulting in 25% HPV positive. Screening history was strongly associated with 2or more gestations (OR= 10.07, p=0.00) and older age (OR=6.69 p=0.00). When 197 women were contacted andinterviewed, reasons referred for non-screening were ignorance, lack of interest or time, recent sexual onset,shame and fear. More than 50% of the workshop participants showed knowledge of HPV, while 38.9% and 25%knew about Pap smear and cervical cancer. A high percentage of women of reproductive age have never had aPap smear. Promoting the screening program in medical facilities seems to be important in this population. Newapproaches to inform vulnerable individuals on the benefits of screening need to be implemented, especially foryoung women.