Abstract|| This thesis is concerned with cervical cancer amongst New Zealand women, particularly Maori women. Maori women have an alarmingly high incidence of cervical cancer, approximately three times higher than non-Maori women. Maori women experience one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world.
Chapter one, two and three form the introductory section of the thesis, Section A. Chapter one provides an overview of cervical cancer incidence in the world, followed by a more detailed analysis of the occurrence of cervical cancer in New Zealand and a discussion of the aetiological factors of cervical cancer. Cervical screening is discussed in Chapter two. The ethnic differences in incidence and mortality of cervical cancer between Maori and non-Maori and possible reasons for these differences are studied in Chapter three.
Section B consists of the original work undertaken. A pilot study (Chapter four) was conducted to trial the methods for the national study (Chapter five). The national study was a retrospective review of the cervical smear histories of Maori women first diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer over a recent two year period in order to investigate why Maori women have not had their disease detected by screening and treated at the intraepithelial stage. Maori women’s knowledge of and attitudes towards cervical screening were obtained in a survey in Ruatoria (Chapter six).
Section C concludes with a chapter (Chapter seven) on the conclusions and recommendations based on the material reviewed and the work undertaken.