Cervical Cancer Screening: Recommendations for Muslim Societies


Background: The overall cervical cancer incidence rate is low in Iran; however, because of a higher risk of death for cervical cancer, a disease that kills women in middle age, a cervical cancer control program is needed. The aim of this study was to provide consensus recommendation for cervical cancer prevention in Iran and other Muslim societies with low incidences of cervical cancer. Materials and
Methods: Through a practical guideline development cycle, we developed six questions that were relevant to produce the recommendation. We reviewed 190 full text records of cervical cancer in Iran (1971 to 2013) of which 13 articles were related to the data needed to answer the recommendation questions. We also reviewed World Health Organization, IARC, GLOBOCAN report, Iran Ministry of Health cancer registry report and 8 available foreign countries guidelines. Lastly, we also evaluated the Pap smear results of 825 women who participated in the Iranian HPV survey, of whom 328 were followed-up after a 5-year interval.
Results: The obtained data highlighted the burden of HPV and cervical cancer situation in Iran. Experts emphasized the necessity of a cervical cancer screening program for Iranian women, and recommended an organized screening program with a cytological evaluation (Pap smear) that would start at the age of 30 years, repeated every 5 years, and end at the age of 69 years. Meanwhile, there is no need for screening among women with a hysterectomy, and screening should be postponed to post-partum among pregnant women.
Conclusions: An organized cervical cancer screening is a necessity for Iran as more than 500-900 women in middle age diagnosed with an invasive cervical cancer every year cannot be ignored. This recommendation should be taken into account by the National Health System of Iran and Muslim countries with shared culture and behavior patterns. CUBA HPV test could be consideration in countries Muslim country with appropriate budget, resources and facility.