Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
School of Medicine, Australia.
Background and Objective: In most Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), cancer patients commonly present at very late stages and by the time the disease is diagnosed, it is often too late for treatment. This review examines the evidence on factors associated with low cancer screening participation and late presentation of cancer among women of the PICTs. Materials and Methods: Medline, PubMed, ProQuest and The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature were searched to identify relevant studies for this review. Terms of medical subject headings was performed in combination with other key words such as “screening”, “delay”, “determinants”, “awareness”. Results: Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria of this review. Six factors were identified from these studies: resources and facilities, trust in the health care system, culture and tradition, modesty, awareness and socioeconomic status. Conclusion: Due to several barriers and factors, women in the PICTs are hindered from accessing cancer screening practices and often present late with cancer symptoms leading to advanced stage diagnosis. The findings of this study provide a foundation for future studies that could focus more in-depth to explain how these factors contribute to the presentation of cancer in late stages.