Send to

Choose Destination
Oncologist. 2014 Apr;19(4):383-93. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2013-0340. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Current cervical cancer screening knowledge, awareness, and practices among U.S. affiliated pacific island providers: opportunities and challenges.

Author information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.



Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality in nearly all U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions (USAPIJ); however, most jurisdictions are financially and geographically limited in their capacity to deliver routine screening.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 72 health care providers from five of the six USAPIJ in 2011 to assess knowledge, beliefs, practices, and perceived barriers regarding routine cervical cancer screening. We compared the responses of providers from jurisdictions that were funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) with those that were not funded.


Most providers reported cervical cancer prevention as a priority in their clinical practices (90.3%) and use the Papanicolaou test for screening (86.1%). Many providers reported knowledge of screening guidelines (76.4%); however, more than half reported that annual screening is most effective (56.9%). Providers in non-NBCCEDP-funded jurisdictions reported greater acceptance of visual inspection with acetic acid (93.9%) and self-sampling for human papillomavirus testing (48.5%) compared with NBCCEDP-funded jurisdictions (15.4% and 30.8% respectively). Providers from non-NBCCEDP-funded jurisdictions reported inadequate technological resources for screening women (42.4%), and approximately 25% of providers in both groups believed that screening was cost-prohibitive.


Although cervical cancer screening is a priority in clinical practice, beliefs about annual screening, costs associated with screening, and varying levels of support for alternative screening tests pose barriers to providers throughout the USAPIJ. Further exploration of using evidence-based, lower cost, and sustainable screening technologies is warranted in addition to emphasizing timely follow-up of all positive cases.


Cancer screening; Diagnosis; Early detection of cancer; Female; Pacific Islands; Papillomavirus infections; Prevention and control; Uterine cervical neoplasms

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center