Document Type

Article

Department

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Abstract

Background: Screening for cancer of the cervix remains a neglected health care issue in Pakistan. To provide baseline data for future efforts to improve screening, we conducted a retrospective analysis of cervical smears taken in the obstetrics and gynaecological clinics of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.
Method: We collected data on cervical smear cytology for cervical smears taken from January 1, 1990 to December 31,1996. We assessed risk factors for dysplasia, including age, age at first marriage, and number of pregnancies.
Results: The overall prevalence of abnormal smears in our study was 0.5%. Of 20,995 cervical smears, 12,451 (59.3%) smears showed non-specific inflammation, 7302 (34.8%) were reported as normal, 809 (3.85%) showed monillial infection, 148 (0.71%) showed atypia, 105 (0.5%) had dysplastic cytology, and 52 (0.25%) samples were inadequate. The highest incidence of dysplastic smears was seen in the age group 35 to 44 years. Of 105 patients with dysplasia, 12 were pregnant, and all were asymptomatic, while in 93 non-pregnant women, 33 were symptomatic.
Conclusion: The low prevalence of abnormal smears, compared with data from Western populations, could be due to the inherent bias of health awareness in the women who attended our hospital. The results of this study may serve as a baseline for future comparisons. A larger community-based study may establish the exact prevalence of malignant and premalignant lesions so as to plan for future screening.

Publication

Annals of Saudi Medicine

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