The presence of common risk factors for cervical cancer among women attending the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) Clinic at the Georgetown Public Hospital Co-operation (GPHC)

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Authors : Cummings E., Abrams K, Cox T, Harris J, Sukhoo-Pertab M, Aaron R, Samuels S, Narine R, Singh J


Background: Guyana has the third highest incidence and rate of death from cervical cancer in the Western Hemisphere. The are several predisposing factors including HPV infection, early age of menarche, young age of first sexual experience and first full term pregnancy, multiple sexual partner, smoking, low socioeconomic status,.

Aim: to determine the common risk factors for cervical cancer among women attending the GPHC VIA clinic

Methodology: A Self-Administered pretested and validated questionnaire which seeks to identify common risk factors for cervical factors among all women between the ages of 16 and 35 that attended The VIA Clinic at GPHC. Data was collected during a 1 week period Monday to Thursday (VIA Clinic Days) , a total of 48 women participated in the Study.

Results: There was a 60% response to the study. 25% were of the low socioeconomic status. Only 18.7% of women had a papanicolaou smear in the last three years. 31.25% had a positive family history of cancer (breast and cervical). 18.8% had menarche before the age of 12 years. 95% of the women were sexually active with 47.9% having had their first sexual intercourse between the ages of 17-20. 21.7% of women had multiple sex partners and practice unprotected sexual intercourse . In addition a little less that half of the participants consumed a low fruit diet and a significant majority ate smoked and canned foods regularly

Conclusion: Lack and irregular use of condoms at every coitus, multiple partners, inadequate diet among others were the main factors that predisposes the women to become infected with the human papilloma virus and subsequently development of cervical cancer .


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