Call for Systematic Population-Based Cervical Cancer Screening: Findings from Community-Based Screening Camps in Tamil Nadu, India

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Nellai Cancer Care Center, Tirunelveli, (An unit of Udhavum Ullangal), Tamil Nadu, India.

2 Fenivi Research Solutions, Chennai, India.

3 International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Paris, France.

4 The Union South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India.

5 Karuna Trust, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

6 National Centre of Excellence and Advanced Research on Anemia Control (NCEAR -A), Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India.

7 Department of General Surgery, Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, India.


Background: In India, systematic cervical cancer screening under the national programme is yet to cover the entire population and therefore opportunistic or camp based approach is commonly practiced screening mode currently. This study presents the proportion of screen-positive women [positive visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) and/or Papanicolaou (Pap) smear results] and its associated factors from a rural community-based cervical cancer screening conducted in a service setting. Methods: In this cross-sectional study involving record review, data was drawn from free screening camps conducted by a non-governmental organization in two rural districts of Tamil Nadu, India between March 2015 and March 2017. The associations were assessed using adjusted prevalence ratio with 95% confidence interval. Results: A total of 5,207 women were screened from 307 camps. The mean age was 39.5 years (SD: 8.6). At least one symptom was observed among 2,245 women (43.1%). Of 5,207 women, 19.4% (n=1,009, 95% CI: 18.3%, 20.5%) were screen-positive. Screen positivity in women