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Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2015 Nov-Dec;53(6):670-7.

[History of the development of screening tests for cervical cancer].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

Author information

Registro de Cáncer, Unidad de Investigación Médica Yucatán, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mérida, Yucatán, México.


in English, Spanish

Cervical cancer (CC) is one of the best known malignancies. Currently, it is accepted that the etiological factor is persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). Even before the identification of its etiological factors, methods such as Pap cytology and colposcopy were developed as tools for early diagnosis on CC and its precursor lesions. At the time when such tests were being developed, they were not fully accepted by the scientific community of the time; however, as time went by, the dissemination of knowledge, and more extensive application, these tests were finally included within the international guidelines. The implementation of programs with adequate coverage and quality allowed a significant reduction in the incidence and mortality of CC. However this did not occur widely, and CC is still a public health problem in developing countries. From the epidemiological and molecular viewpoint, knowledge on HPVs laid the foundations for the development of new prevention strategies based on vaccination and molecular detection of the causal agent, currently accepted as strategies for primary and secondary prevention. It is expected that the implementation of these strategies will have a greater impact on the control on CC and other malignancies associated with HPV infection.


Diagnosis; History; Human papillomavirus; Uterine cervical neoplasms

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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