Gynecologic Cancer Incidence, United States—2012–2016

About 94,000 women were diagnosed with gynecologic cancer each year between 2012 and 2016.

U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Briefs, No. 11
September 2019

Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that starts in women’s reproductive organs. The five main types of gynecologic cancer are cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer. Cervical cancer is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented through screening. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Incidence

About 94,000 women were diagnosed with gynecologic cancer each year between 2012 and 2016. The incidence rate of gynecologic cancers among women varied by cancer type and race/ethnicity (Figure 1). The most common gynecologic cancer was uterine cancer (26.82 cases per 100,000) and the least common was vaginal cancer (0.66 per 100,000). The highest incidence rate of cervical cancer was among Hispanic women (9.60 per 100,000). White women had the highest incidence rate of uterine (27.16 per 100,000), ovarian (11.50 per 100,000), and vulvar (2.80 per 100,000) cancer. The highest incidence rate of vaginal cancer was among black women (0.90 per 100,000).

Figure 1. Ratea of Gynecologic Cancer, by Race and Ethnicityb 2012–2016

aRates are per 100,000 women and are age adjusted to the 2000 US standard population.

bRace and ethnicity are not mutually exclusive. Counts may not always sum to the total because of rounding and because cases with other or unknown race are included in total.

Age at diagnosis

The median age of diagnosis (the age at which half of cancer patients were older and half were younger) varied by cancer type and race/ethnicity (Figure 2). Cervical cancer was usually diagnosed at a younger age (median age=50 years) than other gynecologic cancers, while vaginal and vulvar cancers were diagnosed at an older age (median age=67 years). Among women aged <50 years, cervical cancer was the most common gynecologic cancer; among women 50 years or older, uterine cancer was the most common (Figure 3).

Figure 2. Gynecologic Cancer Median Age at Diagnosis, by Race and Ethnicitya 2012–2016

aRace and ethnicity are not mutually exclusive. Counts may not always sum to the total because of rounding and because cases with other or unknown race are included in total.

Figure 3. Ratesa of Gynecologic Cancer and Median Age at Diagnosis Among Females in the United States, 2012-2016

aRates are per 100,000 population and are age adjusted to the 2000 US standard population.

Data Sources

Data in this brief come from U.S. Cancer Statistics, the official federal cancer statistics.

U.S. Cancer Statistics incidence data are from population-based registries that participate in CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and/or the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and meet high-quality data for the November 2018 data submission, covering 100% of the U.S. population.

Suggested Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gynecologic Cancer Incidence, United States—2012–2016. USCS Data Brief, no 11. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2019.

Page last reviewed: September 13, 2019