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Br J Cancer. 1989 Aug;60(2):238-43.

A case-control study of cervix cancer in Singapore.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.


Cervix cancer is about twice as common in Asia as in the Western world and its incidence varies among different Asian ethnic groups. A study based in Singapore, the population of which comprises Chinese, Indians and Malaysians, offers the opportunity to evaluate whether the same risk factors are important in this part of the world as in the West. A total of 135 cases and an equal number of controls were interviewed and details concerning reproductive and sexual history, smoking, hygiene, socio-economic status and education were collected. Seventy-three cases had invasive cancer while 62 had micro-invasive disease or CIN III. The most important risk factors were parity and number of sexual partners. Smoking was rare in cases and controls and did not appear to be an important determinant of risk. Of the socio-economic factors, education appeared most predictive and lowered the risk. Age at first intercourse was strongly correlated with education (positively) and parity (negatively), but not with number of sexual partners. Biopsies were available for HPV DNA analysis in 38 cases and 37% were positive, mostly for HPV type 16. All these factors gave similar risks in invasive and preinvasive disease.

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