A new study indicates the risk of dying from cervical cancer might be much higher than experts thought previously. Previous estimates of these death rates did not account for women who had had their cervixes removed in hysterectomies, eliminating the risk for cancer.
This new study corrects the error from previous research.
“Every year about 13,000 females are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and out of these, 4,000 will die, so you’re looking at a disease which has a huge burden,” Dr. Kamran Shahid, UT Health Northeast Oncologist, said.
“The data of females who had undergone hysterectomy we’re kind of under-represented in the initial study,” Dr. Shahid said.
The new data corrects these numbers and shows a racial gap.
“The mortality rate of black women with cervical cancer was 5.7,” Dr. Shahid said. “When they corrected this in this study they found the rate to be even higher and that is 10.1 per 100,000.”
The death rate for white women went from 3.2 to 4.7 per 100,000. He said this could be caused by several factors.
“It could be due to the access of healthcare,” he said.
He also said more severe cancer to begin with has been found in black women.
It’s a dangerous but preventable disease.
“We recommend pap smear for every female starting at the age of 21 and then to subsequently repeat it every 3 years,” he said.
He said women older than 30 who have not had a pap smear should get that in combination with h-p-v testing.
He recommends vaccination for everyone, not just women. He said about 45% of males carry HPV, which is why vaccination for all genders is important.