Screening Cervical Cancer by the Pap Test – Relevance of Age Ranges Recommended by the Brazilian Programme for Prevention and Control

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Post-Graduate Programme in Health Sciences, State University of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.

2 Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, State University of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.


Objective: To evaluate screening by the Papanicolaou smear (Pap) and the frequency of cervical abnormalities in the age range recommended by the Brazilian programme for prevention and control of cervical cancer (CC) in the years 2012 and 2013 in a high prevalence city. Methods: This retrospective study covered results of Pap examinations performed on women aged ≥12 years residing in urban areas of the city of Maringá, Paraná in Brazil. The examinations were performed in the years 2012 and 2013 for the System of Public Health (SPH) which maintains a city database. The age ranges were grouped as recommended into <15-24, 25-64, and >64 years. Results: A total 40,866 women were screened, 19,606 in 2012 and 21,260 in 2013. The Pap exams performed for the age range 25-64 years accounted for 80.7% of the total in 2012 and 80.3% in 2013 (p=0.13), while those for 64 years age group in 2013 (8.46%) than in 2012 (7.52%) (p<0.001). A total of 1,354 (3.31%) women presented with abnormal test results, with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) as the most prevalent finding (2.12%) in 2012, while in 2013 it was LSIL (1.56%) (pin both years. Conclusions: This study detected a significant expansion of women screened for CC in age ranges not recommended by the Brazilian government.


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