Cervical cancer is the cancer that starts in the cells that line the cervix.
It is the cancer of the entrance to the uterus (womb). The cervix is the narrow part of the lower uterus, often referred to as the neck of the womb.
This year it has been estimated that cervical cancer death rates has increased from the previous research conducted.
The new research carried out by Anne Rositch, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, and colleagues show that the risk of dying from cervical cancer is much higher than what experts estimated four years ago.
As the result of the study published in the Journal Cancer says that the death rates for cervical cancer is much higher than what experts said previously, all women are advised to continue with their routine checkups and screenings as recommended.
The study found that previous estimates of cervical cancer death rates didn’t account for women who had their cervices removed in hysterectomy procedures, which eliminates the risk of developing the cancer.
In the United States there have been 12,820 new cases of cervical cancer and 4,210 deaths from the disease, according to National Cancer Institute.
The new study, however, suggests that women’s risk of dying from cervical cancer may be significantly higher than previously estimated, particularly for black women.
Cervical Cancer is 77 Percent Higher than Previous Estimates
Rositch and colleagues used 2002-2012 data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Mortality Database to estimate cancer mortality rates.
The team notes that previous estimates of cervical cancer mortality using this data included women who had undergone a hysterectomy and who were, therefore, no longer at risk for cervical cancer.
For the new analysis, the researchers used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to pinpoint the number of women who had undergone a hysterectomy in the U.S. between 2002-2012, and these women were excluded from the final estimates.
The new estimates revealed that the cervical cancer mortality rate for white women in the U.S. stood at 4.7 per 100,000 between 2000-2012, which is 47 percent higher than the 3.2 per 100,000 previously estimated.
Among black women, the team estimated the cervical cancer mortality rate to be 10.1 per 100,000 – 77 percent higher than the previous estimate of 5.7 per 100,000.
The researchers also found that the previous estimates of differences in cervical cancer mortality between black and white women were underestimated by 44 percent.
Furthermore, the new analysis revealed that cervical cancer mortality rates among white women had fallen by 0.8 percent annually between 2002-2012, while rates among black women fell by 3.6 percent annually.
Racial Disparities in Cancer Mortality Remains a Problem
According to Rositch, the new data suggests that racial differences in cervical cancer mortality are narrowing, but that it should remain a key area of focus.
“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 cervix be regularly screened for cervical cancer,” Rositch noted.
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In an editorial linked to the study, Dr. Heather Dalton of Arizona Oncology, and Dr. John Farley of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – both in Phoenix, AZ – say that the new estimates highlight the “vexing problem” of racial disparities in cancer mortality across the U.S., but there are positive indications.
“The mortality gap between black and white women appears to be narrowing, especially among women in their 20s and 30s,” they write. “This may be an early sign of the impact of HPV vaccination.”