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Special Monthly Spotlight: Cervical Health and Cancer Health Disparities

Cervical Health Awareness Month

In January, CRCHD joins the nation in raising awareness for Cervical Health and Cervical Cancer Disparities. This month we share a special focus on NCI/CRCHD research programs that are trying to reduce cervical cancer disparities in underserved communities and the people who are spreading the word about the importance of early detection.

A Snapshot of Cervical Cancer Disparities:

  • Hispanic women develop cervical cancer more than any other racial/ethnic group (other than Vietnamese women). Incidence rates are double those of non-Hispanic white women. (NCI/CRCHD)
  • Second to Hispanic women, cervical cancer is the number one cancer to develop in Vietnamese women. In this group, incidence rates are five times higher than those in non-Hispanic white women. (NCI/CRCHD)
  • Many low-income women are diagnosed with cervical cancer at advanced stages (when it is harder to treat it) because they do not have ready access to adequate health care and regular screening tests (Pap tests). (American Cancer Society)

NCI’s Commitment to End Cervical Cancer Disparities:

Through partnerships with other scientific institutions, the NCI has helped lead research to better understanding the causes of cervical cancer and developing effective vaccines and DNA-based testing to prevent most cervical and noncervical cancers attributed to HPV infection. Thanks to decades of cervical cancer research, there has been an approximately 75 percent reduction in the incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer.

But more work needs to be done to ensure that women from low-income households have access to screening tests and HPV vaccines that are available.

Select NCI/CRCHD-funded projects aimed at reducing cervical cancer disparities in the U.S.
NCI/CRCHD Currently funded NCI/CRCHD research and community outreach initiatives focused on improving cervical cancer screening rates in underserved communities include the following:

  • Dr. Meena Jaggi’s approach to cervical cancer disparities research relies on an item more commonly found in the kitchen than the lab. She is using curcumin (commonly known as turmeric) to inhibit HPV infection among Native American women.
  • Dr. Kolawole Okuyumi is studying cervical cancer screening attitudes and behaviors of African immigrants (Ethiopians, Nigerians, and Somalis) in Minnesota, and introducing “cancer” and “cervix” to their everyday vocabulary.

Visit the link below to learn more:




Updated: 01/20/15