Title: Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Infection and Cervical Dysplasia in the North West Territories
Summary of Activity
In Canada, the high incidence and mortality rate of cervical cancer in Aboriginal populations of the Northwest Territories (NWT) has led to concerns about current screening methods. Recent reports in the literature have indicated that the Pap test is a less than ideal tool for screening for cancer of the cervix and this has generated interest in the potential for incorporating Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing into the present screening program. There is currently not a lot of information on the prevalence of HPV infection in the NWT which has the greatest number of Aboriginal communities in Canada. The objectives of the study are: 1. Determine the prevalence of type specific oncogenic HPV infection and cervical dysplasia (precursor lesion) in women of the NWT 2. Explore the association between type specific oncogenic HPV infection and cervical dysplasia in Northern Canada and its sub-populations 3. Identify the sub-types of HPV infection associated with cervical dysplasias in the sub-populations of the NWT 4. Provide scientific evidence for policy makers and local public health workers in NWT to plan and implement more effective cancer control programs Women over the age of 15 in the NWT who attend routine clinics for Pap smears will be invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. They will be asked to complete a consent form indicating that they have understood the nature of the study. The procedure for sample collection will be incorporated into the routine Pap testing done by physicians or community health nurses. Data collected will consist of cervical samples for HPV testing, socio-demographic information to analyse prevalence of type specific HPV, relative risk of HPV and cervical dysplasia, the attributable risk fraction of HPV infection and other risk measures. Conducting a study on the prevalence of HPV in a region that is known to experience a high rate of cervical cancer, can potentially be of great public health importance. More effective cervical cancer screening programs can be developed with the use of HPV DNA testing in combination with the conventional Pap smear testing. This research can potentially serve to integrate and facilitate measures to help accelerate the application of a new genetic technology into public heath and thus address the high incidence rate of cervical cancer.
Dr. Anita Li
Public Health Agency of Canada
785 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario
Tel: (613) 946-9076
Fax: (613) 941-2633
Email: Y.Anita Li@hc-sc.gc.ca
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