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June, 2007

Highlights in Minority Health
January, 2005

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Collage of different Women.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among women of all races in the United States, after heart diseaseEach year, about 15,000 women in the United States learn that they have cancer of the cervix; in 2001, 4,092 women died from cervical cancer.
The burden of cancer is not distributed equally—many racial and ethnic minority groups suffer from higher incidence, higher mortality, and poorer survival rates than white Americans.


  red arrow In 2001, black women had the highest age-adjusted mortality rate from cervical cancer (4.8 per 100,000), followed by Hispanic women (3.4 per 100,000).
  red arrow From 1992-2000, African American women were less likely to survive cervical cancer five years after diagnosis compared with white women (African American: 62.6%; white: 73.3%) (Health US, 2003, table 54).
  red arrow In 2001, cervical cancer incidence was highest among African American women (11.9 per 100,000) and Hispanic/Latina women (11.8 per 100,000).
  red arrow Use of Pap test screening may be as low as 43% in some Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroups, compared to 95% among white women (table 9).
  red arrow The highest age-adjusted incidence rate in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) areas occurs among Vietnamese women (43 per 100,000). Their rate is 7.4 times the lowest incidence rate, 5.8 per 100,000 in Japanese women.
When found and treated early, cervical cancer often can be cured.
A Pap test is used to find cell changes in the cervix. It can find problems that can be treated before they turn into cervical cancer. A Pap test also can find cancer early. If cervical cancer is found early, it's easier to cure. The Pap test is a simple, painless test to detect abnormal cells in and around the cervix; it can be done in a doctor’s office or a health clinic. If all women had pelvic exams and Pap tests regularly, most precancerous conditions would be detected and treated before cancer develops. That way, most invasive cancers could be prevented. Any invasive cancer that does occur would likely be found at an early, curable stage.
The creation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which in 1990 started providing cancer screening services to underserved women, substantially increased the percentage of women in low-income households who reported having had a recent mammogram (CDC, 2001a).  Eighty percent of White women had had a Pap test within 3 years as of 1998 (NCHS, 2000), similar to the rates for African American, Cuban American, Puerto Rican, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian women.  Lesser use of Pap tests was found among Alaska Natives, American Samoans, Mexican Americans, and some Asian American groups.
  National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)
  NCCDPHP Cancer Prevention and Control
    National Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
    Cervical Cancer & Pap Test Information
    Cervical Cancer & Specific Populations
  NCI Cervical Cancer Home Page
    National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC)
    NCI Cancer Facts: Human Papillomaviruses & Cancer
  National Women’s Health Information Network
  American Cancer Society
    All About Cervical Cancer



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