Cervical cancer mortality statistics from 2002 to 2012 included women who didn't have a cervix, skewing the results considerably. A re-analysis of the study has revealed that the risk of death is up to 77 per cent higher than previously thought.
"The previous work had suggested 3.2 white women per 100,000 died of cervical cancer, but the new analysis shows the figure is actually 4.7 per 100,000 (an increase of 47 per cent)," the study reads. "5.7 black women per 100,000 were thought to have died of cervical cancer, but the new analysis shows the figure is actually 10.1 per 100,000 (an increase of 77 per cent)."
The disparity in mortality between races was also underestimated by 44 percent. An analysis of the corrected rates over the decade revealed that white women's rates of death from cervical cancer decreased by 0.8 percent per year, compared with an annual decrease of 3.6 percent in black women.
"Although trends over time show that the racial disparity in cervical cancer mortality is closing, these data emphasise that it should remain a priority area," said Dr. Rositch.
"In addition, many of those who are dying are over the age of 65, a cutoff point where guidelines generally no longer recommend women with cervices be regularly screened for cervical cancer," she added.
The US-based study was published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
To re-examine cervical cancer mortality rates from 2002 to 2012 in the United States, Anne Rositch, PhD, MSPH, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her colleagues obtained estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics and the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Mortality Database. Information on hysterectomy prevalence was gathered from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey to remove the large fraction of women who were not at risk of dying from cervical cancer.