Cervical cancer is on the rise, especially among black women

Of the 208,587 cervical cancers diagnosed in the United States between 2000 and 2017, black women represented less than 10 percent, but they accounted for about 18 percent of the 16,797 cervical cancer deaths in that period, Drs. Clarke’s research has shown.

The death rate from cervical cancer for black women is 31.4 per 100,000 women aged 40 or older, compared to 15.2 per 100,000 for white women of the same age. Clark reported 6 (The comparable mortality rate for Asian American women is nine per 100,000 and for Hispanic Americans, 12.3 per 100,000.)

This makes cervical cancer an outgrowth, as progress has been made over the past two decades to reduce the racial gap in mortality from most cancers. Another National Cancer Institute report published in JAMA Oncology in May found that overall, cancer deaths among black Americans continued to decline between 1999 and 2019, although they were higher than other ethnic and racial groups.

The reasons for the increase in the incidence of uterine cancer are not well understood. The most common form, endometrial cancer, is associated with estrogen exposure, which is higher when obesity is present, and the rate of obesity is increasing in the United States.

But the incidence of non-endometrial cancer has also increased and it is not associated with being overweight. Dr. Clark’s research has shown that black women are more likely to have this aggressive form of uterine cancer. They are less likely to be diagnosed early in the illness, and their survival rate worsens when they are diagnosed and have no subtypes of cancer.

“At each stage of the diagnosis, there are different outcomes,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, chief executive of the American Cancer Society. “Are they getting access to the same quality cancer care?” He called for more research into the factors driving the trend.

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