Factors related to cervical cancer screening among Asian women
Cervical cancer is largely preventable. Although routine Pap smear screening has reduced cervical cancer-related mortality by 70-80% in all countries and by approximately 90% in developing countries, the gynecologist is still confronted with women in advanced stages of the disease. The eradication of cervical cancer depends on identifying the disease early and removing barriers to its timely detection. Given the significant burden of cervical cancer in Asian countries, we investigated factors related to its screening in Asia.
Materials and methods
A comprehensive search was carried out in databases such as Medline, Web of Science and Scopus for articles published until September 2020. The following keywords were used: vaginal smear, Pap smear, cervical cancer screening, barriers, obstacles, challenge, early detection, the name of each Asian country, and a combination of these words.
Seventy-five articles were included in the study. The investigation revealed various factors related to cervical cancer screening in Asian women, including sociodemographic factors, awareness, attitudes and beliefs, perceived risk, psychological factors, self-efficacy, previous experiences, time, household, culture, fatalism, social support, access, cost, safety, insurance and health system-related factors.
Several barriers hinder the efficacy of a screening program. Its success requires the use of educational interventions, professional and inter-professional cooperation, allocation of sufficient resources, and policymakers focusing on the elimination of barriers.