Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is a major cause of morbidity among Circumpolar women. Cervical cancer comprised 15% of all cancers in Canadian Inuit women from 1969-1988. The age standardized incidence for invasive cervical cancer in Canadian Inuit women is 3.1 times the rate in the general Canadian population. Management of CIN in women of remote Arctic regions has traditionally required multiple visits to specialized medical centres for diagnosis, therapy and follow-up. Such centralized care requires separation of women from their families, resulting in significant medical, emotional and economic costs for the patient, her family and community. In the Canadian Central Arctic, a program for the diagnosis and therapy of CIN has been established using colposcopy with loop electrosurgery, performed by a trained local family practitioner and visiting gynecologist. Early program evaluation has indicated reduction in medical expenditures due to travel costs, minimal procedure-related morbidity and discomfort, and improved patient satisfaction associated with reduced separation from family and community. It is hoped that the program design, which harnesses technology in order to provide improved care closer to home, will be applicable to other Circumpolar regions.
The vaginal microbial flora of 106 women with histopathologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and 79 women without disease, was evaluated for Gardnerella vaginalis, Trichomonas vaginalis, Candida albicans and other yeasts. Flora morphology was assessed by gram staining of secretions. Cervical cultures were examined for Herpes Simplex virus, Cytomegalovirus and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Chlamydia trachomatis antigens in cervical secretions were detected by enzyme immunoassay. Human Papillomavirus was identified by koilocytosis in cytologic or histopathologic specimens. Human Papillomavirus infection (P less than 0.00001), vaginal infection with Mycoplasma hominis (P = 0.012) and abnormal vaginal flora (P = 0.006) were significantly associated with CIN, suggesting that CIN may be promoted by vaginal microorganisms in conjunction with human papillomavirus cervical infection.