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Black Women At Higher Risk Of Dying From Cervical Cancer: Study

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Black and older women are more likely to die from cervical cancer, reveals a new study led by the researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Cervical cancer usually stems from the cervix of a women's body due to the abnormal growth of cells in the area. Initially, the patient may not see or experience any physical symptom from the ailment, but later on unnatural bleeding from vagina, pelvic pain, or feeling of pain during sexual intercourse may take place.

The study stressed on the requirement in understanding the risks involved in cervical cancer in black and older women and identifying the best treatment and screening options available for them.

Findings Of The Study

The study shows that the demise of black women due to cervical cancer in the United States stands at an alarming rate of 77 percent higher than what was presumed earlier, while the death of white women is 47 percent more due to the same ailment.

The new figure depicts a changing scenario in the calculation of mortality rates. The researchers opined that by not including women who already underwent hysterectomies, which involves the removal of the cervix, thus reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer to zero, this data will give a clear result on who's getting affected by cervical cancer. The doctors can then have a better understanding of the ailment and can come up with a cure.

"This is a preventable disease and women should not be getting it, let alone dying from it," says Anne F. Rositch of Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School and lead author of the study.

She added that the screening program is aimed at reducing the mortality rate from cervical cancer. To fulfil these objectives, it is important to have a precise estimate within the chosen demographic.

The findings will provide a better understanding for doctors and researchers as to why black and older women in United States are still dying from the ailment despite the wide availability of screening options and treatment.

The death rates because of cervical cancer among black women above the age of 20 was 5.7 out of 100,000 per year and in the case of white women, it is 3.2 out of 100,000 per year. The death rate for black women increased to 10.1 per 100,000 each year when corrected for hysterectomy. This rate is akin to less developed nations. The rate stood at 4.7 out of 100,000 each year in white women.

Rositch also shared that although racial disparities have been closing in with time, the recent data reminds doctors and researchers that it should remain an area of importance and continuous study.

The study has been published on Jan. 23 in the journal Cancer.

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