J Gynecol Oncol.  2022 Jul;33(4):e39. 10.3802/jgo.2022.33.e39.

Trends in cervical cancer screening rates among Korean women: results of the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, 2005–2020

  • 1National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Nursing, KC University, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea


This study aimed to analyze the trends in cervical cancer screening rates, including organized and opportunistic cancer screening rates, with the Papanicolaou test among Korean women.
Data were collected from a nationwide, cross-sectional, Korean National Cancer Screening Survey. To evaluate the cervical cancer screening rates, we used the screening approach of “cervical cancer screening rate with recommendation,” defined as the proportion of women who underwent the Papanicolaou test during the previous 2 years according to the Protocol of National Cancer Screening Program for Cervical Cancer in Korea. The joinpoint regression analysis, which describes the annual percent change (APC), was performed to detect significant changes in cervical cancer screening rates in women aged 30-74 years during 2005-2020.
The cervical cancer screening rate was 56.0% in 2020. From 2005 to 2013, there was a rising trend in cervical cancer screening rates (APC=2.70%, 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.05 to 4.38), followed by a falling trend (APC=−2.67%, 95% CI:−4.3 to −1.01). The falling trend was significantly associated with age (≥40 years), education level (below the 15th grade), household income (below the middle-income level), and residence (all residential areas).
The recent falling trend was more common in women with a low socioeconomic status, which suggests that there is a socioeconomic gap in cervical cancer screening. Moreover, young women in their thirties had a low screening rate. Therefore, an active participation strategy for women vulnerable to cervical cancer is required.


Early Detection of Cancer; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms; Papanicolaou Test; Socioeconomic Factors; Female; Cross-Sectional Studies
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