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Myong Cheol Lim 1 Article
Effect of Pap smears on the long-term survival of cervical cancer patients: a nationwide population-based cohort study in Korea
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, kyu-won Jung, Myong Cheol Lim, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022072.   Published online September 7, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022072
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to investigate the effect of cervical cancer screening by Papanicolaou (Pap) smears on the long-term survival of cervical cancer patients.
METHODS
We constructed a retrospective cohort of 14,903 women diagnosed with invasive cancer or carcinoma in situ in 2008 and 2009 and followed up until December 31, 2019, by using individual-level data from 3 national databases of the Korean National Cancer Screening Program, the Korean Central Cancer Registry, and death certificates. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to investigate the effect of cervical cancer screening on mortality.
RESULTS
In total, 12,987 out of 14,867 patients (87.4%) were alive at the end of the follow-up period (median: 10.5 years). Screened patients had a 38% lower risk of cervical cancer death than never-screened patients (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 0.70). Screening was associated with 59% and 35% lower risks of death, respectively, in screened patients with localized and regional stages. Furthermore, lower HRs among women who received screening were observed in all age groups, especially women aged 50–59 years (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.69). The lowest HR for cervical cancer death was reported among patients screened within the past 2 years (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.63), and the HRs increased with increasing time intervals.
CONCLUSIONS
Pap smear screening significantly reduced the risk of cervical cancer-specific death in Korean women across all cancer stages.
Summary
Korean summary
한국은 자궁경부암 발생과 사망을 낮추기 위하여 국가암검진사업으로 자궁경부암 검진을 실시하고 있다. 이 연구는 2008-2009년 자궁경부암 진단을 받은 30세-79세 14,903명을 대상으로 과거 자궁경부세포검진 여부에 따른 장기생존율을 추적 조사하였다. 그 결과 자궁경부암 검진을 받은 환자에서 사망 위험비가 약 38% 낮았으며, 2년 이내에 검진을 받은 환자군에서 사망 위험이 가장 낮았다.
Key Message
The Korean National Cancer Screening Program (KNCSP) has provided cervical cancer screening by Pap smear test. However, the survival, particularly long-term survival of cervical cancer patients, has never been evaluated in the KNCSP. This study reports a significant improvement in the long-term survival of screened cervical cancer patients, which persist in subgroup analysis by cancer stage. Patients who were screened within two years before the diagnosis had the best survival.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health