Considerations for conducting epidemiologic case-control studies of cancer in developing countries
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The challenges involved in conducting epidemiologic studies of cancer in developing countries can be and often are unique. This article reports on our experience in performing a case-control study of invasive cervical cancer in four Latin American countries (Colombia, Panama, Mexico, and Costa Rica), the summary medical results of which have been published in a previous issue of this journal. The study involved a number of principal activities- mainly selecting, conducting interviews with, and obtaining appropriate biologic specimenes from 759 cervical cancer patients, 1,467 matched female controls, and 689 male sex partners of monogamous female subjects. This presentation provides an overview of the planning and methods used to select the subjects, conduct the survey work, and obtain complete and effectively unbiased data. It also points out some of the important advantages and disadvantages of working in developing areas similar to those serving as locales for this study
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