Cervical cancer in north-eastern Libya: 2000-2008



Ben Khaial F, Bodalal Z, Elramli A, Elkhwsky F, Eltaguri A, Bendardaf R.


J Obstet Gynaecol. 2014 Aug;34(6):523-6. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2014.914478. Epub 2014 May 6.


Libya is a country with a low population, listed under the EMRO. Using registers and patient records from a major primary oncology clinic, data was gathered from Libyan cervical cancer patients and various parameters were studied across 9 years. Out of 4,090 female cancer cases during the study period, 1.8% were cervical cancer (n = 74). The average age of presentation was 53 years, with most of the cases (60%, n = 44) being premenopausal. Approximately 65% (n = 48) of cervical cancer patients are diagnosed at later stages (i.e. stages III and IV). The majority of these cases are squamous cell carcinoma (83.8%, n = 62), while 16.2% (n = 12) were found to be adenocarcinoma. Patients with squamous cell carcinoma presented at later stages more often than those with adenocarcinoma. Human papilloma virus was strongly implicated in cervical cancer, with 94% (n = 63) of those who were tested being positive for HPV-16 (82.5%, n = 52) and HPV-18 (12.7%, n = 8). Diagnosis was most frequently made through biopsy (97.3%, n = 72) as opposed to Pap smears (2.7%, n = 2). Most Libyan patients were put through chemotherapy (75%, n = 55) and triple therapy (surgery with combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy) was the most common (38%, n = 28) modality of treatment. Comparisons were made between Libya and other nations, either in the developed world or neighbouring countries. The major problem of cervical cancer in Libya is delayed presentation and hence, all the recommendations focus on increased awareness for the populace, implementation of a national cancer control plan and a national screening programme.

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Link/DOI: 10.3109/01443615.2014.914478