Cervical cancer screening rates before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake in the Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

After disasters, issues pertaining to women’s health such as irregular periods and bleeding are well surveyed. However, the management of women’s health, especially changes in the rate of health checkups, has not been investigated. In the present study, we focused on the change in the cervical cancer screening rates (CCS-Rs) before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. The earthquake had a magnitude of 9.0, a profound disaster. We examined the CCS-R from 2009 to 2016 in 45 areas of the Miyagi Prefecture. Screening was completed using mobile vans. In the 4 areas impacted by the tsunami after the earthquake, a marked decrease in the CCS-R was observed in 2011 when the earthquake took place (more than a 3% decrease compared with that in the previous year). The CCS-Rs in these 4 regions remained lower in 2016 than in the previous year. In 2009–2016 except for 2014, CCS-Rs in coastal areas (9 areas) were significantly lower than those in the non-coastal areas (36 areas). A delay in seeking healthcare, also known as “patient’s delay,” is considered as one of the problems of cancer treatment in affected areas. It is possible that a decrease in the CCS-R may lead to low detection of advanced stages of cancer. Therefore, the establishment of a comprehensive medical system including medical screening after a disaster is important for the management of women’s health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0229924
JournalPloS one
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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