Opportunistic cervical cancer screening by papanicolaou stain Pap smear among women: a pilot study at urban health training centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India

Ruchi Sinha, Pragya Kumar, Geetika Singh, Rubina Saha


Background: Cancer of the uterine cervix is the second most common cancer among women world-wide and accounts for 17% of all cancer deaths among females aged 30-69 years in India. Locally advanced cervical cancer is rampant in Bihar because of the high prevalence of associated risk factors. However, there is lack of organized screening programmes and treatment facilities for these patients. Thus, the study aimed at screening women for cervical cancer opportunistically during their visit to the health centres and to assess the various socio-demographic and other risk factors associated with positive screening test results.

Methods: Using purposive sampling technique, all women aged 18-59 years who visited the centre for any purpose were interviewed using a pre-designed questionnaire. All eligible women were screened using the conventional Pap Smear and evaluation was done using the 2014 Bethesda system. This study is still underway and 71 women have been screened so far. An interim analysis was done.

Results: Only 4.23% of the women ever had Pap smear testing in their life earlier. Mean age was 35.3±9.12 years and majority of the women were married and multi-parous. Vaginal discharge (55.74%) was the most common perceived gynecological morbidity. Most (36.62%) smears were reported as inflammatory cervical smears while epithelial cell abnormalities were seen in 4 (5.63%) cases.

Conclusions: This study reiterates the need to start organized cervical screening program not only at tertiary center but also at primary health centers which will definitely help to reduce the burden to some extent


Cervical cancer, Opportunistic screening, Pap smear

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