Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases that can be characterized by its uncontrolled cellular growth, local tissue invasion, and distant metastases (1,2). Most patients and their families don't properly know what a cancer is and its treatment options. Consequently, 80% to 90% of cancer patients already suffer from advanced and incurable cancers at the time of diagnosis (3–5).
Cancers that originate in the female reproductive system are called women's reproductive cancers. These include cancer of the cervix, breast, ovaries, vagina, vulva, and endometrium (3,6,7). Though cervical cancer (CC) is largely preventable, it is still the second most common female cancer internationally and the leading cause of cancer deaths among females in African (8,9).
Low level of awareness, lack of effective screening programs, overshadowed by other health communicable health priorities are the possible factors for the observed higher incidence rate of cervical cancer in the developing regions of the world (3,10).
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus transmitted through sexual contact known to cause CC (11,12). Often times, HPV causes precancerous cervical lesion and cancer in women but it can be screened and treated easily before it will turn into invasive cancer (13,14).
Cervical cancer prevention and control approach is made up of several key components (15). Awareness creation, vaccine provision, accessible screening service and provision of affordable treatment facilities are among the top key approaches in the prevention and control of cervical cancer. Currently, there are two types of HPV vaccines: the bivalent vaccine and the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against genotypes 6, 11, 16 and 18. Those two vaccines have been evaluated in large clinical trials and proven to prevent the two most important high-risk HPV types—genotypes 16 and 18—which are known to cause up to 70% of cervical cancers (16).
Concerning to screening, there are three types of cervical cancer tests. These are: 1. Cytology: conventional (Pap smear) and liquid-based; 2. HPV DNA test; 3. Visual inspection: with acetic acid (VIA) or Lugol’s iodine (VILI) (17).
Cryotherapy is a procedure that is used to remove abnormal cervical tissue from the cervix and promotes the growth of new healthy cells on the cervix. It does not require hospitalization, anesthesia, or premedication and can be completed in less than 30 minutes and does not have a long-term impact on women’s fertility or pregnancy outcomes (18,19).
Of 86% of all CC diagnosed, 88% of death occur in developing regions of the world (20). Every year, 500,000 new cases are diagnosed and 270,000 women die of this disease, mostly 85% in developing countries (21,22). Cervical cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in African women (23,24).
An estimated 570,000 new cases of CC was recorded in 2018. Approximately 90% of deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries(25). Rates vary substantially across regions, with the incidence and death rates in East Africa and West Africa as high as the rates in North Africa (26) .
Reports of trends in CC mortality from less developed countries have been limited by poor data quality and inaccurate population estimates (27). But because of poor access to quality screening and treatment service, the trend is increasing in these countries. According to trend analysis on CC between the year 1980 and 2010 was increased from 378 000 to 454 000 (28). By 2020, it has been estimated that CC will be diagnosed in over 665,035 women worldwide, and 357,852 will die as a result (22).
In Africa, which has a population of 267.9 million women aged 15 years and older at risk of developing cervical cancer, approximately 80,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer per year, and just more than 60,000 women die from the disease (29). The incidence and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa are among the highest in the world and accounts for over 70% of the global CC burden with 70,000 new cases annually (22,30).
According to the 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) report, the age-adjusted incidence rate of cervical cancer in Ethiopia was 35.9 per 100,000 patients with 7619 annual number of new cases and 6081 deaths every year (7,31–33). Records also showed that, of the nearly 22 million Ethiopian women over the age of 15, approximately 7,600 are diagnosed with cervical cancer and roughly 6,000 women die of the disease each year (31,34–36).
Though many efforts has been done to study the burden of cervical lesion, still there are fragmented primary studies reported the outcome of interest. Different previous studies and literatures showed variations in the past and across different geographical areas in the country, Ethiopia. Hence, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed in estimating the pooled prevalence of cervical cancer and its trend in Ethiopia. In addition, the finding will provide an insight to decision and policy makers on how to strengthen the existing CC prevention and control strategies. Or device a new way of disease prevention and control mechanisms.