Epidemiology of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is second only to breast cancer in its incidence world wide. Cancer registry data shows that that there are approximately 400,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 200,000 deaths from this disease every year (IARC 2001).
The incidence rate varies from country to country with eighty percent (80%) of the cases occurring in less developed countries. The reasons for this may lie in the socio economic conditions that prevail in these countries where facilities for family planning, obstetric and gynaecological health care are scarce and cervical screening programmes are virtually non existent.
As might be expected, Africa, Central America, South America and the Caribbean have the highest incidence. The lowest rates are to be found in Finland, the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The systematic cervical screening of women at risk has been clearly demonstrated to have contributed to the low incidence of cervical cancer in these countries (Boyes et al 1982 , Hakama et al 1985, Nieminen et al 1995).
Estimated worldwide incidence of invasive cervical carcinoma:
- 371 000 new cases/year
- 7th most common cancer overall
- 2nd most common cancer in women
- Account for 10% of all cancers in women
Annual incidence rate depends widely on the geographic region.
Incidence and mortality rates worldwide:
Incidence of cervical cancer in European countries: