Cervical Cancer Mortality Higher Than Previously Thought — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 23, 2017

Cervical Cancer Mortality Higher Than Previously Thought

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Mortality from cervical cancer is higher than previously believed, particularly among black women, a study in Cancer finds. The analysis excluded women who'd undergone hysterectomy, most of whom would no longer have a cervix, while prior studies included such women and therefore may have underestimated cervical cancer rates.

In the new study, U.S. researchers examined national data on hysterectomy and cervical cancer from 2000 to 2012. An estimated 23% of black women and 21% of white women had undergone hysterectomy. Removing these women from the analyses, the age-standardized rate of cervical cancer mortality among black women was 10.1 per 100,000 population (vs. 5.7 per 100,000 before correction for hysterectomy). The mortality rate among white women was 4.7 per 100,000 (vs. 3.2 before correction).

Dr. Andrew Kaunitz, editor-in-chief of NEJM Journal Watch Women's Health, commented: "Adolescent girls are already benefitting from deployment of human papillomavirus vaccination; for women beyond vaccination age, encouraging access to cervical cancer screening continues to represent the main prevention strategy for cervical cancer."

Reader Comments (1)

Ellen Lerner, BSN

Now that Pap smears have changed apparently and are not being done every year it would be interesting to know if the cervical cancer statistics change as a result. When it says in the article "encouraging access to cervical cancer screening continues to represent the main prevention strategy for cervical cancer." What exactly is involved then in cervical cancer screening if Pap smears are not done on a regular basis - even if the test has supposedly changed, I'm not sure everyone really understand how this is going to a sure that there is any evidence of cervical cancer in between regular visits.

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