Jump in U.S. Cervical Cancer Rates, Especially in Women of Ages 65-69

First Posted: May 12, 2014 07:13 AM EDT

A latest study represents the dramatic rise in the rate of cervical cancers in the United States especially among women of ages 65-69 and African-American women.

A report by the World health Organization in 2012 estimated that by 2030 the global cancer rates will soar by more than over 75 percent. This included cervical cancer, breast cancer and a few more. Confirming this is the new finding by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who reveal that the rate of cervical cancer in the U.S. is higher than estimated.

According to the study, the incidence of cervical cancer was high among 65-69 year-old-women and African-American women.  Despite the recent rise noticed in women above 65 years, this group is not included in the current U.S. cervical cancer screening guidelines of routine Pap smears if the earlier test results have been normal.

The highest cancer rate at all ages was more in African-American women with 53 cases per 100,000 among 65-69 years old women.  This was more compared to Caucasian women at  24.7 cases per 100,000 women. 

Earlier, researchers identified an age-standardized rate of 12 cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 women in the U.S..  The rate of cancer incidence peaked at ages 40-44.  But these previous estimates included women who were diagnosed with hysterectomies in which the lower uterus, the cervix, was removed.  They excluded those who no longer suffered the risk of developing cancer, the researchers estimated a rate of 18.6 cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 women. 

But they soon noticed an elevation in the rate of cancer that increased with age and peaked at higher rates mainly in women of ages 65-69 years.

"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 said in a news statement.

Since human papillomavirus (HPV) infection triggers all cervical cancer, the researchers emphasize on the need for HPV vaccination to guard women against this virus.

They identified that the rate of cervical cancer in women in this age group ( 65-69) was 27.4 cases per 100,000 women i.e. nearly 84 percent higher than the earlier rate of 14.8 cases per 100,000 women.

According to 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, University of Maryland Medical Center , "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."

Researchers highlight the need to consider these findings while reevaluating risk and screening guidelines for cervical cancer in older women.

he study was documented in the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer society 'Cancer'.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics