Cervical Cancer

9 Things Doctors Wish You Knew About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer can be deadly. But if you follow the recommendations for prevention and screening, and then cervical cancer becomes very treatable. Here are the latest developments you need to know.


The deadliness of cervical cancer is greater than we thought

deadlinesThe cervical cancer mortality rate has dropped drastically in the last 40 years—by over 50 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. This is largely due to screening with the Pap test, which any woman who sees a gynecologist knows well. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the rate of deaths from cervical cancer is actually higher than we thought. According to a new study from Johns Hopkins, the way the original rate was calculated was flawed. “Prior calculations did not account for hysterectomy,” says study author Anne F. Rositch, PhD, MSPH, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Instead, “following the concept of using only those ‘at risk’ for a specific cancer, we limited our cervical cancer ‘at risk’ population to females with a cervix.” Although this doesn’t mean more women are actually dying than previously thought, it does mean that the chance of dying among the women at risk is greater. For white women in the United States, the new estimates are 4.7 women per 100,000, 47 percent higher than the previous estimate of 3.2; for black women, the rate is 10.1 per 100,000, 77 percent higher than the previous estimate of 5.7.

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