THE ROLE OF CERVICAL SCREENING IN EARLY DETECTION OF CERVICAL LESIONS

Abstract

Background: Papanicolaou (pap) smear is the most effective cancer prevention screening tool ever devised. Objective: To study the prevalence of cervical inflammatory, premalignant and malignant lesions and to identify factors related to the prevalence of those lesions.Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted over 3 months period on 302 women attending a Gynecology and Obstetrics outpatient clinic. A detailed history was recruited and pap smear was performed after taking patient consent.Results: Among the total of 300 satisfactory pap smears, pathological changes were found in 209 (67.7%) while the rest 91 (30.3%) did not show any abnormality. More than one type of pathology were found in some cervical smears. The prevalence of different pathological changes revealed by cytological diagnosis of 302 pap smear were: Non-specific cervicitis 188(62.7%), Squamous metaplasia 23 (7.7%), Moniliasis 11 (3.7%), Squamous dysplasia (mild and moderate) 7 (2.3%), trichomouns vaginalis 4(1.3%), HPV infection 4(1.3%), IUCD changes 4(1.3%) and 2 smears (0.7%) were unsatisfactory and excluded from the study. Conclusions: The prevalence of pre-carcerous and carcerous cervical lesions are low and comparable to other studies. Low educational level and improper genital and sexual hygienic practices are associated with inflammatory smears, and they are common findings among women with pre-carcerous lesions. History of prior genital infection, using contraception, abortion and curettage are associated with cervicitis.Keywords: pap smear, cervical cancer, cervicitis