A study has been making headlines this week with results showing that the number of black women dying from cervical cancer is higher than white women and even greater than was reported in recent years. The study evaluated previously calculated numbers, but changed a key study parameter to come up with more accurate statistics on the cervical cancer death rate. The study authors eliminated those who had received hysterectomies from the population tally of women, as they have no chance of developing cervical cancer and therefore should not be a consideration. The new data reveals that 10.1 out of 100,000 black women will die from cervical cancer, while 4.7 out of 100,000 white women will succumb to the disease. The difference before data was reexamined showed a slightly smaller disparity of 2.5% between black women and white women.
Cutting Affordable Care Act May Further Widen the Gap
Sadly, despite the Affordable Care Act covering cervical cancer screenings (through annual pap smears) and the fact that if caught early, cervical cancer is curable and even preventable, the rate of cervical cancer deaths among women of all races is still increasing. While the causes of higher cervical cancer death rates among black women were not examined, many medical experts have concluded that less access to quality healthcare is to blame. If the Affordable Care Act were to eliminate insurance coverage of annual pap smears, the predicted outcome by health experts would be more cases of cervical cancer being missed and ultimately more deaths from the disease.