"Why is Cervical Cancer killing many more African-American women than we thought?" PBS NewsHour 2/1/2017
SUMMARY: A new research analysis suggests the mortality rate of cervical cancer is higher than we thought, especially among African-American women. Miles O'Brien talks with Dr. Jennifer Caudle of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine about the findings, as well as the racial disparities in health care.
MILES O'BRIEN (NewsHour): Now, the toll of Cervical Cancer and recent findings that suggest its death rate is higher than we thought.
That's the focus of our weekly segment the Leading Edge.
Estimates had shown more than 4,000 women in the U.S. die from cervical cancer each year, and that the death rate dropped dramatically over past decades. But an analysis published in the journal “Cancer” found the mortality rate is higher than previously thought, and it is significantly higher among African-American women.
The findings were particularly concerning because cervical cancer can often be prevented through better screening, and the HPV vaccine can prevent some cases.
Dr. Jennifer Caudle is a family physician and an assistant professor at Rowan University. She has been writing about these findings and the implications for her clinical practice, and she joins us now to tell us a little bit more.
Dr. Caudle, good to have you with us.
DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, Rowan University: Thanks so much.
MILES O'BRIEN: Tell us what's new about this study.
DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE: Well, I think it's actually quite profound.
As a family physician myself, as a woman myself, I thought that the results of the study were actually quite staggering. Basically, researchers found that we'd been underestimating the levels of cervical cancer mortality.
And not only that, but we have also been underestimating the amount of racial disparities that exist in cervical cancer mortality. So, basically, the problem is bigger and worse than we thought. And I think that it's actually quite significant.