Accepted 10 August 2011.
Introduction Cervical cancer (CC) is the second most prevalent female cancer in Malaysia. Almost 70% of its’ causal factors are attributable to oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18 and other risk factors. HPV genotypes distributions are also noted to differ by geographical area.
Methods This was cross sectional study conducted in 2007, to determine the influencing factors of HPV positivity and prevalence of HPV infections among patients with cervical cancer in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). Patients’ paraffin-embedded cervical tissues kept in the Pathology Department from 1999 to 2007 were randomly selected. A total of 81 medical records with complete information were chosen as samples and patients were contacted for consent. Tissue samples were further derived for PCR DNA for HPV genotyping. Analyses included descriptive statistics; bivariate χ2 test and correlation were used to determine relationship between factors and HPV positivity. Significance level of less than 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.
Results Mean age of cancer diagnosis was at 52 ± 12.2 years. Women of Chinese ethnicity was the highest ethnicity to be HPV positive at 65.4% and squamous cell carcinoma was more commonly found (59.3%) compared with other types of cancers. The prevalence of HPV positivity was 92.6% with type 16 being the most common (74.1%), followed by type 33 (30.9%) and 18 (22.2%). Multiple HPV infections were a common finding at 54.3%. Factors thought to influence positivity i.e. age of intercourse, number of sexual partners, number of parity, smoking status of patients and their partners, oral contraceptive usage, presence of chronic illnesses and cancer stage were not significantly associated with HPV positivity. Increased CC severity level was not associated with increased number of HPV infections (Pearson correlation 0.58; p =0.607).
Conclusions High HPV positivity at 92.6% was found among ICC patients. Factors thought to influence HPV positivity were not significant. The top three HPV genotypes were type 16 followed by type 33 and 18. However, local women HPV serotypes findings need to be replicated in a larger population sample.