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Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.31 - Nº 4 - Dic. 2015

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Awareness attitudes and practices in connection with the Papanicolaou test and cervical cancer staging PAPANICOLAOU TEST

Rev Med Urug 2015; 31: 231-240
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


In Uruguay there are 351 new cases of cervical cancer and an average of 140 women die from this disease. Today, there is a Program for the Secondary Prevention of Cervical Cancer, the screening of which is done with the conventional Pap test for users of the Public Health System. Likewise, there are national provisions that oblige private health providers to offer it for free. Notwithstanding this, a large number of women consult with advanced stages of the disease, with little possibilities for cure.

Objective: to determine awareness, attitudes, practices and stage of the disease for users of the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center and the University Hospital with an invasive cervical cancer diagnosis during 2009.

Method: observational, descriptive study applied to all women with a diagnosis of invasive cervical cancer through survey and the review of medical histories, performed from June, 2010 through September 2011.

Results: 68 patients were interviewed, 75% of whom proved they knew about the test's usefulness, although the same percentage of women declared they failed to have it due to lack of motivation. As a matter of fact, only 13% of women sought a Pap smear test for control. According to what they stated, the main barriers were delays in the waiting room and in access to an appointment to have the test done hospital in the health systems. 47% of surveyed patients initiated treatment in advanced stages of the disease.

Conclusion: the study reveals users fail to undertake a preventive behavior in spite of their being aware of the test and its usefulness. The health system should implement appropriate information strategies so that the screening tests are timely and frequently used.