Cervical cancer mortality rates underestimated?

Posted By News On January 23, 2017 - 6:33pm

Cervical cancer is considered to be rather treatable, and somewhat uncommon, but a new analysis believes the risk of dying from cervical cancer is higher than previously thought.

Less surprisingly, there are still racial differences in mortality. 

These are estimates based on  2002 to 2012 data the National Center for Health Statistics and the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Mortality Database. Information on hysterectomy prevalence was gathered from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey to remove the large fraction of women who were not at risk of dying from cervical cancer.

The researchers now believe that black women in the United States are dying from cervical cancer at a rate 77 percent higher than previously thought, while white women are dying at a rate 47 percent higher. Specifically, the corrected mortality rate in black women was 10.1 per 100,000 women, compared with 5.7 per 100,000 uncorrected. The corrected rate in white women was 4.7 per 100,000 compared with 3.2 per 100,000 uncorrected. 

Also, without the correction, the disparity in mortality between races was underestimated by 44 percent. In addition, an analysis of the corrected rates over the decade revealed that white women's rates of death from cervical cancer decreased by 0.8 percent per year, compared with an annual decrease of 3.6 percent in black women.. So the gap in minority mortality closed much more, but that is because they were higher in the first place. 

"In addition, many of those who are dying are over the age of 65, a cutoff point where guidelines generally no longer recommend women with cervices be regularly screened for cervical cancer," says Anne Rositch, PhD, MSPH, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.