SAM women - The South African cervical cancer screening cohort: improving cervical cancer control in women living in South Africa
Background: Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in South Africa. Screening for cervical pre-cancer is available in South Africa, yet, a systematic approach to monitor and improve screening efforts is not in place.
Overall aim: We will create and analyze an extensive cohort study by linking data for cervical pre-cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment from the National Health Laboratory System (NHLS) and cancer records from the National Cancer Registry (NCR) in South Africa to assess the provision and access to cervical cancer screening in women living in South Africa.
Methods: We will use machine learning algorithms, to link all records from cervical cancer screening and outcomes to individual patients. The cohort will be used to analyze how many women had timely access to screening and whether the development of cervical cancers could be reduced.
Significance: The study findings will help to improve cervical cancer control programs in South Africa and other countries in the region.