Prevalence and risk factors of cervical cancer among women in an urban community of Kwara State, North Central Nigeria


Background. Cervical cancer is the second most common malig- nancy in women worldwide with a high incidence in under-devel- oped countries and Nigeria is one of these countries. This study aimed at screening for cervical cancer using Papanicolaou smear and to identify risk factors for cervical cancer among women in Olufadi community, Kwara state, North-central Nigeria. Methods. This was a cross-sectional study involving the screening of women aged 25-64 years for cervical cancer using Papanicolaou smear. Respondents were selected through systematic random sam- pling of households. Interviewer- administered questionnaire and clinical report form were also used to collect data. In addition, Pap smear samples were taken. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 15. Results. Only 10 (5.0%) respondents had positive cytology result, while the rest were normal. Of the 10 positive cytology results, 1(10.0%) was high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HGSIL) while the remaining 9(90.0%) were low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LGSIL) which corresponds to 0.5% and 4.5% of the total respondents respectively. Risk fac- tors for cervical cancer identified included coitarche, tobacco smoking, number of sexual partners and family history of cervi- cal cancer. Conclusion. The findings from this study attest to the increasing burden of cervical cancer. The high number of positive results obtained from the study coupled with the presence of risk factors was an indication of how useful regular screening will be in the early detection of cervical cancer.