Virology, Nebraska Center for


Date of this Version



Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2015 January ; 25(1): 98–105.


Copyright 2015 Wolters Kluwer. Used by permission.


Objectives—Cervical cancer is increasing but underestimated in developing countries. We calculated the observed and expected incidence of cervical cancer in Lusaka and Southern and Western provinces of Zambia.

Methods/Materials—Data for 2007-2012 was obtained for the 3 provinces. Data included age, residence, year of diagnosis, marital status, occupation, HIV, stage, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Expected incidence in Southern and Western provinces was calculated based on observed incidence for Lusaka province, adjusting for HIV.

Results—Crude and age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) in Lusaka were 2-4 times higher than incidence in the other 2 provinces. Lusaka had a rate of 54.1/105 and ASR of 82.1/105 in the age group 15-49. The Southern province had a rate of 17.1/105 and ASR of 25.5/105; Western province rate of 12.3/105 and ASR rate of 17.2/105. The observed cervical cancer incidence rates in the Southern and Western provinces were lower than the rate in Lusaka, possibly due to the uncertainty of underreporting/under-diagnosis or actual lower risk for reasons yet unclear. HIV seroprevalence rate in patients from the 3 provinces were 46 – 93% higher than seroprevalence in the respective general populations.

Conclusion—Cervical cancer is significantly underestimated in Zambia and HIV has a significant role in pathogenesis. Future studies should establish methods for case ascertainment and better utilization of hospital- and population-based registries in Zambia and other similar developing countries.