Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Reprod Health Matters. 2008 Nov;16(32):18-31. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(08)32397-0.

Prevention of cervical cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.


This article reviews the burden of cervical cancer in South Africa and shows that it remains the most common cancer among South African women, particularly women with least access to cervical cancer screening. It explains the rationale behind the South African cervical cancer screening policy, which is to offer all asymptomatic women three free cervical smears in a lifetime, beginning at age 30, 10 years apart. Further, it illustrates that cervical cancer screening offers unique opportunities for prevention at both the primary and secondary levels. The causal association of human papillomavirus infection of the cervix and the possibility for vaccination against the virus is discussed. The history of screening in South Africa and why it has failed to make a major impact to date on the morbidity and mortality of cervical cancer is also discussed. Finally, possible alternative approaches to cervical cytology for the prevention of cervical cancer are briefly reviewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk