Cervical cancer screening in Ghana, West Africa: Prevalence of abnormal cytology and challenges for expanding screening

Kathryn S. Handlogten, Rochelle J. Molitor, Lindsey E. Roeker, Nirmala P. Narla, Maria J. Bachman, Solomon Quayson, Osei Owusu-Afriyie, Ernest Adjei, Frank Ankobea, Amy Clayton, Lewis Roberts, Kathy MacLaughlin, Daniel Ansong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Aims were to assess the prevalence of Papanicolaou (Pap) abnormalities found with cervical cancer screening in Agogo and Nkawie, communities in the Ashanti region of Ghana, and compare the correlation between Pap readings performed at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, and at the Mayo Clinic cytology laboratory in Rochester, MN. Demographic data was collected and Pap tests were performed on women recruited for screening in the communities of Agogo (n=119) and Nkawie (n=255). The Pap tests were assessed by pathology laboratory staff at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Mayo Clinic. There was a significant difference in prevalence of abnormal cytology between the sites with a rate of 12.6% in Agogo and 3.5% in Nkawie (P=0.016). Demographic differences were noted in education level (P<0.001), occupation (P<0.001), religion (P=0.002), and marital status (P<0.001). The Cohen correlation coefficient between the two pathology departments interpreting samples was 0.185, which indicates a significant degree of discordance (P<0.001). Currently Ghana does not have a national cervical cancer screening program. Identifying higher risk communities and patients as a priority for screening may be useful with limited resources. Accurate identification of Pap abnormalities is necessary to implement an effective screening program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cervical cancer
  • Cervical pathology
  • Ghana
  • Pap
  • West Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cervical cancer screening in Ghana, West Africa: Prevalence of abnormal cytology and challenges for expanding screening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this