Experts say screenings need to be more convenient. A cancer survivor says people need to tell their stories.
After everything we’ve learned about cervical cancer, it turns out the number of women actually getting screened may be much lower than previous national data suggested.
That’s according to a Mayo Clinic study published this month in the Journalof Women’s Health. But just how low? Even the researchers were surprised.
“We figured our rates would be a little bit lower. But they were much lower than we thought and hoped they would be,” said Kathy MacLaughlin, MD, a family medicine specialist and the study’s lead author.
Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed the records of more than 47,000 women living in Olmsted County, Minnesota, from 2005 to 2016.
They found that in 2016, less than two-thirds of the women ages 30 to 65 were up to date on their cervical cancer screenings. For the women ages 21 to 29, slightly more than half were up to date.
Asian women were nearly 30 percent less likely to be current on their screening than white women were. And African-American women were 50 percent less likely to be up to date than their white counterparts were.