The most common reason for anal cytology screening among women is the presence of a squamous intraepithelial lesion. The occurrence of a squamous intra-epithelial lesion should raise concern for anal cancer, especially in women with a family history of this disease. Fortunately, the test is quite affordable and is becoming increasingly accepted as a diagnostic tool.
Although screening may not prevent neoplasia, there is a high cost associated with delayed diagnosis. In this study, a physician recommended a two-year interval between anal cytology and a pregnancy test. The researchers concluded that the cost of anal cytology was high in the early stages of anal cancer. However, the procedure is relatively cheap and would be a good choice for women with a family history of squamous cell carcinoma.
Despite its cost, anal cytology screening among women has been used for decades to detect anal neoplasia. However, it is not widely accepted because of the lack of information about HPV, which may limit patient acceptance. To overcome this problem, a study was conducted to investigate the attitudes of women regarding anal cytology screening. The authors asked a series of anonymous questionnaires to assess the degree of discomfort and embarrassment associated with the screening.
The study involved four hundred and forty-five women who met the eligibility criteria. Of these, three hundred thirty-five were Hispanic or Haitian in ethnicity. Seventy-six percent of the women were Hispanic, while 12% were Haitian. Twenty-two percent of the women reported never hearing about HPV. Sixty-five percent of the women were not familiar with anal cytology screening. They were also uncertain about the procedure. Anal cytology screening was accepted by 67 percent of women, and two-hundred and twenty-two percent were very interested in undergoing the test.
The study also found that a woman who has previously been diagnosed with CIN II or CIN III dysplasia is eligible for an anal cytology screening. This test determines whether the woman has AIN1 or AIN2+. In addition, it is able to differentiate true and false negatives. In cases where a screen is positive, a high-resolution anoscopy is performed to determine the extent of the disease and a sensitivity of the anal cytology.
Anal cytology screening among women is an effective way to detect anal neoplasia early. Some women, however, do not feel comfortable with this procedure. Many women fear pain and discomfort, and have been told not to undergo it despite their knowledge of the risk. Anal cytology can be a valuable tool in identifying anal neoplasia. Besides being a diagnostic tool, it helps clinicians understand the disease and identify the most appropriate treatments.