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The impact of microinvasive cancer of the cervix on women during follow-up

Authors

  • M. CAIRNS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Scotland, UK
      Mary Cairns, MBChB, MRCOG, Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, Scotland, UK. Email: marycairns@nhs.net
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  • N.M. GRAY,

    1. Department of General Practice and Primary Care, Foresterhill Health Centre, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland
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  • M.E. CRUICKSHANK

    1. Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Scotland, UK
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Mary Cairns, MBChB, MRCOG, Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, Scotland, UK. Email: marycairns@nhs.net

Abstract

The psychologic and psychosexual sequelae of cervical screening and disease are well recognized but most research has focused on women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or women with early (stage IB) to advanced cervical cancer. There has been little work looking at women with microinvasive cancer as a unique clinical identity. Many of these women have a similar diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up pathway to those with high-grade CIN. This could result in unrecognized and ongoing health concerns. We report on a questionnaire-based case–control study, comparing the concerns of women with microinvasive cervical cancer with those of women with high-grade CIN. Women with microinvasive cancer and controls with CIN2/3 diagnosed between 2000 and 2006, from a geographically defined population, were recruited and invited to complete a postal questionnaire consisting of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Process Outcome Specific Measure (POSM). Twenty-eight women diagnosed with microinvasive cancer were identified and 18 participated (response rate 64%). Fifty-eight controls were matched by age and year of treatment with 26 responding (45%). About 18% of women with microinvasive cancer had a HADS depression score of 8 or more, compared to 12% of those with CIN (P = not significant). The HADS anxiety score of 8 or more occurred in 35% of each group. There were no significant differences in terms of POSM results for sexual activity, fertility, and developing cervical cancer in the future between cases and controls. We did not find a difference between women with a previous diagnosis of microinvasive cancer and those with high-grade CIN, in terms of ongoing concerns during their follow-up. We did not identify any additional concerns for women with microinvasive cancer in the care provided in the colposcopy service.

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