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US cervical cancer rates higher than previously reported, especially among older women
Date:5/11/2014

BALTIMORE May 12, 2014. Cervical cancer rates in the United States are higher than previously believed, particularly among 65- to 69-year-old women and African-American women, according to a study led by a researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine published in the journal Cancer. 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 10
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Contact: Karen Warmkessel
kwarmkessel@umm.edu
41-032-889-194-104-041-53
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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