Risk factors for cancer of the uterine cervix in Propriá, Sergipe, Brazil

Cervical cancer is highly incident in poor regions of developing countries. It is related to lifestyle factors that lead to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The aim of the study was to assess which factors are important in the development of HPV infection and consequent cervical cancer in the community of Propriá, Sergipe, Brazil. To analyze the risk factors related to cervical cancer, a case-control study was performed, matching cases and controls for age, place of residence, and socioeconomic status. Twenty cases of carcinoma of the uterine cervix and 80 controls were identified. Cases had more pregnancies and a higher proportion of women who had not done Pap smears. Women in the two groups lived with promiscuous partners, had deficient knowledge about cervical cancer and its risk factors, and were predominantly illiterate. We concluded that in the community of Propriá, multiple pregnancies and failure to have Pap smears were associated with the occurrence of cervical cancer.

Cervix Neoplasms; Vaginal Smears; Papillomavirus; Citology

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