A study carried out at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and published in the journal Cancer has shown that the rates of cervical cancer is higher than previously believed in older (65-69 years old) women and African-American women. Previous research had shown a rate of about 12 cases of cervical cancer out of every 100.000 women in the United States. However, those estimates included women who has undergone hysterectomies, who were no longer at risk of getting cancer. The protocol in the new study excluded this group of women from their analysis. The new study found a rate of 18.6 cases per every 100,000 women in the United States. The investigators found that the rates increased steadily with age and peaked at the 65-69 years old age group. These rates were disproportionately higher in African American women. There were 53 cases per 100,000 in African-American women between the ages of 65-69. African American women in every age group had higher cancer rates compared to Caucasian women.
The authors concluded, “The higher rates of cervical cancer after correction for hysterectomy highlight the fact that, although a large population of cervical cancer has been prevented through early detection and treatment, it remains a significant problem.”
Adedotun Ogunbajo, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health