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Review of the epidemiology of cervical cancer in the Pacific Basin.


Cervical cancer, despite its declining incidence in the developed countries, is still an important cancer in the less-developed world. The mortality and incidence trends for some of the countries in the Pacific Basin are presented. Among the high-risk communities and populations are Colombia (Cali), New Zealand (Maoris), El Paso, Texas (Latin Americans), California (blacks), Hawaii (Hawaiians), Singapore (Chinese and Indians), Hong Kong, Philippines (Manila), New Caledonia (Melanesians), Alaska (American Indians), Fiji. The major risk factors are summarized, with age at first coitus as the key factor; some doubts are expressed about the validity of multiple sexual partners and circumcision of male partners as risk factors. The likely role of herpesvirus is still being studied, and the possible increase in incidence of cervical cancer among younger women could be attributed to greater sexual promiscuity in that group. Some suggestions for future research are made.

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