In Estonia, Estonian Health Insurance Fund has carried out cervical cancer screening as a project since 2003. The purpose of screening is as early detection of the disease as possible. Altogether, 38,692 women have been involved in the pilot project in 2003-2008 and 1691 of them have had pathology. The annual number of detected cases of cervical cancer in Estonia is about 160-170 and according to Statistics Estonia, 72 women died in 2008 due to malignant cervical cancer.
In the world, approximately 270,000 women die every year due to the same disease. Cervical cancer is on the second place among gynecological malignancies and causes almost 500,000 new cases per year. In Estonia, about 160 women a year get infected with cervical cancer and about 70 women die.
The assessment of the cervical cancer screening examined the organization’s structure and the documentation of the project; interviews with the participants of the project were also conducted. An important part of the evaluation was comparing targets and results which was based on both the project at hand as well as the requirements for similar projects elsewhere in the world.
Cervical cancer screening has had a positive impact on the health of the population and continuance of the project is welcomed. Effectiveness of the screening was generally consistent with international standards. The best way to add additional value to the program would be increasing the number of women participating in screening and creating a register.