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'Disease of Poverty': University of South Carolina Releases Journal on Cervical Cancer, Health Disparities
Date:12/11/2009

COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- African-American women in South Carolina are 37 percent more likely to have cervical cancer than white women and have a death rate that is about 61 percent higher, according to a study by researchers at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health.

(View a video of Dr. Saundra Glover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTmZXC1yOmM)

South Carolina ranks 14th in the nation in deaths from cervical cancer.

The study also found that African-American women in rural South Carolina are among the least likely to get recommended screenings, including the Pap test, that are key to the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer.

The findings from the study are reported in the December issue of the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, which has a series of articles and studies on cervical cancer in South Carolina.

The journal represents one of the first comprehensive statewide reports on cervical cancer incidence and mortality, said Dr. Saundra Glover, an Arnold School researcher and director of the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities.

"This is a landmark, a stepping stone for us as we address cervical cancer among minority women," she said.

Eliminating health disparities is complex and involves many factors, including access to screening and follow-up treatment, Glover said.

"South Carolina has some of the greatest health disparities in the nation," she said. "This report gives us a better understanding not only of cervical cancer incidence and mortality among African-American women, but also shows the critical role that community groups have in working with doctors and other healthcare professionals and leaders to ensure that women receive screenings and follow-up care."

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