Cervical Cancer Deaths Higher than Estimated
Although deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. have decreased by more than 50 percent over the past 40 years—largely due to screening procedures like the Pap test and preventive measures like HPV vaccination—new research shows that the risk of dying from cervical cancer may have been underestimated. According to the American Cancer Society, about 12,820 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017 and 4,210 women will die from the disease.
Data for this new study, which examined cervical cancer mortality rates from 2000 to 2012, excluded women who had undergone a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, including the cervix) and were no longer at risk for cervical cancer. Study results show that the cervical cancer mortality rate was actually 47 percent higher in white women and 77 percent higher in black women than previously estimated.
During the study period, death rates from cervical cancer declined by 0.8 percent annually in white women and 3.6 percent annually in black women. According to researchers, cervical cancer screening generally is not recommended for women over the age of 65 and cervical cancer death rates are higher in this age group.
Image Credit: Thinkstock