J Gynecol Oncol.  2020 Apr;31(3):e55. 10.3802/jgo.2020.31.e55.

National screening programs for cervical cancer in Asian countries

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine Center, International University of Health and Welfare, Mita Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children (Sichuan University), Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
  • 4Department of Gynecology, All India Institute of medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  • 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia/Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 6Division of Medical Support and Partnership, Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan
  • 7National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 8Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 9Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand


Cervical cancer is still one of the most common female cancers in Asia and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in low- and middle-income countries. Nowadays, national screening programs for cervical cancer are widely provided in Asian countries. We reviewed the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Thailand. The NCSP were established at varying times, from 1962 in Japan to 2014 in Indonesia. The primary screening method is based on cytology in all countries except for India and Indonesia. In India and Indonesia, visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) is mainly used as a primary screening method, and a “see and treat” strategy is applied to women with a positive VIA result. The starting age of NCSP ranges from 18 years in China to 30 years in Thailand. The screening interval is 2 years in all countries except for China and Indonesia, in which it is 3 years. Uptake rates of NCSP vary from 5.0%–59.7%. Many women in low- and middle-income countries still do not participate in NCSP. To improve uptake rates and thereby prevent more cases of cervical cancer, Asian countries should continue to promote NCSP to the public using various approaches.


Cervical Cancer; Cancer Screening; National Health Programs; Asia
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