Cervical cancer is a highly curable disease, if detected at its early stages. However, prevalence of late-stage disease at presentation is substantially high among women with cervical cancer worldwide, and place of residence and educational status are significant factors. These findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE

The researchers, from the School of Nursing at Wolaita Sodo University in Ethiopia, sought to determine the pooled prevalence and identify determinants of late-stage presentation among patients with cervical cancer. Of 64,059 studies initially retrieved through database and manual searches, 25 studies met the inclusion criteria. The studies in this meta-analysis were from 3 world regions and included 53,233 participants.

The overall estimated pooled prevalence of late-stage presentation cervical cancer was 60.66%, with a heterogeneity index of 98.4%. Subgroup analysis based on world region found late-stage presentation rates for cervical cancer were 62.60% in Africa, 69.30% in Asia, 46.51% in Europe, and 50.16% in North America.

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Five variables were extracted from the data to identify determinants of late-stage presentation, but only 2 were found to be significant: place of residence and educational status. People from rural areas were 2.87 times more likely than people from urban areas to present with late-stage cervical cancer. People with some education were 61% less likely to present with late-stage cervical cancer than people without any formal education.

A study showed that 98% of patients consent to further medical care, and approximately 27% finally underwent a hysterectomy.

“The results of this meta-analysis indicated that the prevalence of late-stage presentation of cervical cancer is substantially high,” the researchers concluded. Healthcare organizations should focus on early screening, optimal management, and increasing community awareness to improve detection and outcomes for patients with cervical cancer.

Studies from 3 world regions were not included, which may affect generalizability of the results. Additionally, a lack of regional and worldwide systematic reviews and meta-analyses made comparing findings difficult.


Tekalign T, Teshome M. Prevalence and determinants of late-stage presentation among cervical cancer patients, a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE. 2022;17(4):e0267571. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0267571