Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Cervical Cancer Rates Higher Than Reported

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Rates of cervical cancer in the U.S. are particularly high among 65- to 69-year-old women and African-American women.

Current U.S. cervical cancer screening guidelines do not recommend routine Pap smears for women over 65 if their prior test results have been normal.

Previous research finds an age-standardized rate of about 12 cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 women in the United States, with the incidence reaching a peak at age 40-44 and then leveling off.  However, these estimates included women who had hysterectomies in which the lower part of the uterus, the cervix, was removed. By excluding these women, who are no longer at risk of developing this cancer, from their analysis, the researchers calculated a rate of 18.6 cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 women. They found the incidence increased steadily with age and peaked at a higher rate and at an older age, specifically in women 65-69 years old.

“The higher rates of cervical cancer after correction for hysterectomy highlight the fact that, although a large proportion of cervical cancer has been prevented through early detection and treatment, it remains a significant problem,” the authors conclude. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause virtually all cervical cancers, and the researchers stress the need for widespread HPV vaccination to protect women against the virus.

The incidence of cervical cancer for women ages 65-69 was 27.4 cases per 100,000 women, 84 percent higher than the uncorrected rate of 14.8 cases per 100,000 women. Among white women ages 65-69, the rate was 24.7 cases per 100,000, compared with an uncorrected rate of 13.5 cases per 100,000. The rate for African-American women ages 65-69 was 53 cases per 100,000, compared with an uncorrected rate of 23.5 cases per 100,000. In fact, African-American women had higher cancer rates at nearly all ages compared with white women, and the disparity was more pronounced at older ages, likely attributable to African-American women reporting a higher prevalence of hysterectomy than white women.

“Our corrected calculations show that women just past 65, when current guidelines state that screenings can stop for many women, have the highest rate of cervical cancer,” says the study’s lead author, Anne F. Rositch, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., an assistant professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a researcher at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. “It will be important to consider these findings when reevaluating risk and screening guidelines for cervical cancer in older women and the appropriate age to stop screening.”

Patti E. Gravitt, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, is the senior author.

The researchers say that failing to correct for hysterectomies not only underestimates the true incidence of cervical cancer but also results in misleading race and age-specific comparisons.

Dr. Rositch adds, “It will be important to clarify in future studies whether the continued increase in cervical cancer rates with age and the higher rates in African-American women represent a failure in our screening programs or a failure of the women to be screened so that appropriate interventions can be applied.”

E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says, “Although we have made tremendous progress in preventing and detecting cervical cancer in its earliest stages, we may not have fully understood the incidence among older women and African-American women. This latest research underscores the importance of caring for a woman’s obstetric and gynecological health throughout her entire life, and not only focusing on preventive health measures during her reproductive years.”

The study, led by a researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, analyzed data on cervical cancer from 2000 to 2009 from 18 registries within the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The data in the 18 registries represents approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population. The researchers generated estimates of hysterectomy prevalence from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a household survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The study was published in the journal Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,700+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Weapon in the Fight Against Blood Cancer
This strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Myeloma
A strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Researchers Discover Possible Mechanism for Faster Evolution
Results hold great promise for gene therapy development.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Scientific News
Gene Editing Could Enable Pig-To-Human Organ Transplant
The largest number of simultaneous gene edits ever accomplished in the genome could help bridge the gap between organ transplant scarcity and the countless patients who need them.
Antioxidants Cause Malignant Melanoma to Metastasize Faster
Fresh research at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that antioxidants can double the rate of melanoma metastasis in mice.
Have Your Drug Nano-Delivered Via Microbubble
A UC engineering professor is working to develop effective nanoparticle-bubble drug delivery systems to access precise locations in the body to treat medical conditions such as cancer, eye disease and spinal disc degeneration.
Potential New Diagnosis and Therapy for Breast Cancer
Scientists at the University of York, using clinical specimens from charity Breast Cancer Now’s Tissue Bank, have conducted new research into a specific sodium channel that indicates the presence of cancer cells and affects tumour growth rates.
Paving the Way for Diamonds to Trace Early Cancers
Researchers from the University of Sydney reveal how nanoscale 'diamonds' can light up early-stage cancers in MRI scans.
Researchers Develop Classification Model for Cancers Caused by KRAS
Most frequently mutated cancer gene help oncologists choose more effective cancer therapies.
Tolerant Immune System Increases Cancer Risk
Researchers have found that individuals with high immunoCRIT ratios may have an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
Developing a Gel that Mimics Human Breast for Cancer Research
Scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham have been funded to develop a gel that will match many of the biological structures of human breast tissue, to advance cancer research and reduce animal testing.
New Gene Therapy for Vision Loss From a Mitochondrial Disease
NIH-funded study shows success in targeting mitochondrial DNA in mice.
Predictive Model for Breast Cancer Progression
Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a proof-of-principle technique that could give women and their oncologists more personalized information to help them choose options for treating breast cancer.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,700+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos