Special Spotlight: Cervical Cancer Research Highlights
During the month of January, CRCHD joins the rest of our nation in spotlighting Cervical Cancer Awareness.
Although cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates have declined nearly 50 percent in the United States over the past three decades, the disease remains a serious health threat. Incidence rates in Hispanic women are higher than those in non-Hispanic women. Despite recent declines, African-American women still have higher mortality rates than women of any other racial/ethnic group in the United States. Additional geographic and socioeconomic disparities in cervical cancer mortality and cervical cancer screening also exist.
In light of this, CRCHD would like to recognize the contributions of NIH/NCI-supported researchers through their research, prevention, and training initiatives aimed specifically at addressing the disparate effect that cancer has on our underserved populations.
South Carolina researchers, under the leadership of Dr. James Hebert, are focused on forging partnerships to promote cancer prevention by linking rural African American churches with academics from CNPC-South Carolina. CNPC researchers trained women, who had been recruited by their churches, serve as witnesses who would discuss their cancer journeys, emphasizing early cancer detection, in meetings with other church members.
Many Micronesians come to the United States from underresourced backgrounds, and few are aware of publicly available cancer screening and treatment sites. Drs. Clayton Chong and Kathryn Braun, as well as other researchers with CNPC-Hawaii, realized the lack of awareness of for these health resources. Specifically, they saw that eligible Micronesian women were not using free mammogram and Pap smear programs. Because of these facts, they began a training program for these women, who worked as lay educators and were equipped with a toolkit of educational materials to promote peer education and preventative information.
Dedra Buchwald, M.D., another CNPC grantee, is conducting epidemiological studies of the human papillomavirus (HPV) strains. The incidence of HPV is highest among Native American women of the Northern Plains at rates that top 20%. Dr. Buchwald and her team hope to better understand the factors leading to the higher incidence and lower survival rates for cervical cancer in Native American women.
The link below will assist you with learning more about cervical cancer statistics, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention:
- NCI page for Cervical Cancer