Study Finds More Cervical Cancer Deaths Than Previously Reported

Connecticut women might want to rethink their risks of dying from cervical cancer. An assistant professor of epidemiology has noted that the typical approach for calculating rates of death for individual cancers did not exclude women who had undergone hysterectomies. This surgery removes the cervix, and a study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health produced results that showed sharply higher death rates when only counting women who had not had it removed.

Previous statistics about cervical cancer deaths showed that 5.7 black women out of 100,000 and 3.2 white women out of 100,000 died from the disease. The new calculations forced the numbers up to 10.1 per 100,000 black women and 4.7 per 100,000 white women. A gynecologic oncologist said that the higher death rate for black women might be the result of low or limited access to cervical cancer screening.

Screening guidelines might also be contributing to the high death rate. Many of the women who died from cervical cancer were older than 65, which is the age when screening guidelines recommend a cessation of tests for the disease. Overall in 2016, more than 4,000 women across the country died from the disease, according to National Cancer Institute statistics.

A physician’s failure to diagnose cancer could in some cases expose the health care provider to liability for a patient’s medical costs associated with delayed treatment and a worsened condition. A person who suspects that substandard care led to a negative outcome might approach an attorney for an opinion about the viability of a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney could ask an independent medical expert to review the medical records and provide an opinion about whether or not the physician met accepted standards of care.