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Singapore Med J. 2013 Feb;54(2):96-101.

Evaluation of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme in Singapore.

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National Registry of Diseases Office Research & Strategic Planning Division, Health Promotion Board, 3 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore.



A retrospective observational study was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of CervicalScreen Singapore (CSS), a National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme.


National trends on incidence, mortality of cervical cancer and carcinoma in situ of the cervix before and after the launch of CSS were examined. Linear regression was used to calculate the average annual percentage change in age-standardised incidence and mortality rates. We also examined the operational measures of CSS, such as the women who joined the CSS programme and the diagnostic accuracy of Pap smears. The study was confined to women who consented to join CSS at government-funded polyclinics.


Nationally, there was a greater decline in the age-standardised incidence and mortality rates in the period 2004-2008 as compared to the period 1987-2003. Under CSS, a total of 99,759 Pap smears were performed on 81,087 women in the period 2004-2008. However, the number of first screens decreased from 18,434 in 2004 to 11,624 in 2008. Among women aged 25-69 years who had their first Pap smear screening and who were recommended for routine rescreen in three years, 10% had a subsequent rescreen within three years. Overall, the CSS programme was able to detect 0.37 invasive cancers per 1,000 screens in women aged 25-69 years.


The CSS programme has contributed to a decline in the mortality and incidence of cervical cancer in Singapore. However, the challenges of increasing the screening uptake among eligible women need to be addressed.

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