Characteristics and screening history of women diagnosed with cervical cancer aged 20-29 years.
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BACKGROUND: There was concern that failure to screen women aged 20-24 years would increase the number of cancers or advanced cancers in women aged 20-29 years. We describe the characteristics of women diagnosed with cervical cancer in England aged 20-29 years and examine the association between the period of diagnosis, screening history and FIGO stage. METHODS: We used data on 1800 women diagnosed with cervical cancer between April 2007 and March 2012 at age 20-29 from the National Audit of Invasive Cervical Cancers. RESULTS: The majority of cancers (995, or 62% of those with known stage) were stage 1A. Cancer at age 20-24 years was rare (12% of those aged 20-29 years), when compared with age 25 (24%) and age 26-29 years (63%); however, cancers in women aged 20-24 years tended to be more advanced and were more often of a rare histological type. For 59% of women under age 30, the cervical cancer was screen detected, most of them (61%) as a result of their first screening test. A three-fold increase in the number of cancers diagnosed at age 25 years was seen since the start of the study period. CONCLUSION: Cervical cancer at age 20-24 years is rare. Most cancers in women under age 30 years are screen detected as microinvasive cancer.