Article Text

Download PDFPDF
761 Evaluation of access to the health system and the main barriers to early diagnosis of cervical cancer in a state in the North-East of Brazil
  1. Manoel Rodrigues Andrade Neto1,
  2. Vandre Cabral Gomes Carneiro1,
  3. Nathalia Moreira Ramalho1,
  4. Candice Amorim De Araujo Lima Santos1,
  5. Carla Rameri Alexandre Silva Azevedo1,
  6. Ana Luiza Fassozoli-Fonte1,
  7. Rafael Rocha Andrade Figueiredo1,
  8. Francisco Ananias Mamede Morais Junior1,
  9. Maria Clara Ribeiro Coutinho1,
  10. Lydia Maria Menezes De Albuquerque Germano1,
  11. Carolina Rodrigues Montefusco Arraes1,
  12. Patricia Ailveira Rodrigues2,
  13. Penelope Cristina Couto Barbosa De Melo Andrade1,
  14. Maria Fernanda Barbosa Andrade1,
  15. Andrezza Layane Alves Santos1 and
  16. Jurema Telles De Oliveira Lima1
  1. 1IMIP, Recife, Brazil
  2. 2Unicamp, Campinas, Brazil


Introduction/Background Cervical cancer has a high lethality rate in our state due to the lack of adequate access and knowledge about cancer. In turn, it has a slow evolution and great potential for prevention and cure. The most accessible early detection method in Brazil is the Pap smear and, despite the existence of numerous public policies to encourage screening, there is a considerable lack of knowledge about the importance of early diagnosis. The aim of this study was to assess the main obstacles to cervical cancer screening.

Methodology Descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out with patients diagnosed with confirmed cervical cancer and treated at two large oncology centres in Pernambuco between 2016 and 2021

Results 240 patients were included, of whom 211 knew about the Pap smear test before the disease was diagnosed, 82% of the participants knew the purpose of the test and were correct in answering what it identifies. Approximately 64 per cent of the patients had four or more tests before their diagnosis. 58.75 per cent of the participants were instructed to undergo regular screening, of which 64.5% obtained the result within three months of collection. Around 27% had not had the test for between 3 and 5 years prior to diagnosis. Approximately half of the patients (49.16%) were diagnosed at a tertiary hospital and only two thirds of them were able to access it within 30 days of diagnosis.

Conclusion Although most of patients were aware of the Pap smear and its purpose, there is still a great deal of taboo about gynaecological examinations, leading to delays in the early diagnosis of cervical cancer. It can therefore be inferred that there is a need to expand public policies on knowledge about cervical cancer, its primary prevention (vaccine) and encouraging population screening, which is the main bottleneck in access to healthcare.

Disclosures No conflict of interests.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.