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Characteristics of patients diagnosed with cervical cancer in Brazil: preliminary results of the prospective cohort EVITA study (EVA001/LACOG 0215)

Abstract

Objectives Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. Epidemiological and quality of life (QoL) data in patients with cervical cancer from low- and middle-income countries are scarce. We aimed to describe sociodemographic and clinicopathological characteristics and quality of life of patients with cervical cancer at diagnosis in Brazil.

Methods EVITA is a prospective cohort study of newly diagnosed patients with cervical cancer from May 2016 to December 2017, stages I–IVB, from 16 Brazilian sites representing the five Brazilian regions. At baseline, medical evaluation was performed and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-CX24/C30 questionnaires were administered.

Results A total of 631 patients were included. Mean±SD age was 49.3±13.9 years; skin color was non-white in 65.3%, and 68.0% had ≤8 years of formal education. In total, 85.1% of patients had a Pap smear. The main reasons reported by patients for not having a Pap smear were: lack of interest (46.9%), shame or embarrassment (19.7%), lack of knowledge (19.7%), and difficulty with access (9.1%). Most patients were diagnosed with locally advanced or metastatic disease (FIGO clinical stage II–IV in 81.8%– stage II in 35.2%, stage III in 36.1%, and stage IV in 10.5%). Patients with clinical stage III–IV had worse physical functioning and role functioning.

Conclusions Cervical cancer in Brazil is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage. Most patients have low formal education and are unemployed. Lack of interest was identified as a main reason for not having a screening test, and limited access was reported as a reason by <10% of the patients. Awareness campaigns must be a governmental priority, specially focused on the needy population, along with wide access to treatment.

  • cervical cancer

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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