Health Care

Protect Your Health: Late-Stage Cervical Cancer is on the Rise

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A new research study shows that late-stage, or metastatic, cervical cancer is on the rise in American women. The study explains that while advanced cervical cancer is typically considered a rare diagnosis with a worrisome 5-year survival rate of around 17%, cases are on the rise.

Cervical cancer is a highly treatable disease with a 92% survival rate if it’s caught early. But it’s very dangerous once it advances to later stages. Expert Gynecologist Jennifer Roller, MD, is here to explain why taking care of your gynecological health is more important than ever.

Why is Late-Stage Cervical Cancer on the Rise?

While no one can say for sure why advanced cervical cancer cases are being seen more, some patterns are worth considering.

According to Dr. Roller, “the decrease in annual well-woman screenings and HPV vaccinations could be a factor in the increase in late-stage cervical cancers being found. Delaying an exam or skipping a year gives cancerous cells time to grow if they’re present. Staying up-to-date on your appointments is vital, especially if you have a higher cancer risk.”

Getting your Pap smear and HPV tests at the same time provides the most comprehensive screening option, which catches cancer at higher rates than doing the Pap or HPV test alone.

Who is Most at Risk?

The rise in advanced cervical cancer is impacting women of all ages, races and ethnicities. But historically, disparities in health care exist among women in our Black and Hispanic communities when it comes to access to health care, quality of care and insurance coverage.

Dr. Roller says, “The prevalence of late-stage cervical cancer is highest among Black women while the sharpest increase of cases is impacting white women between the ages of 40 and 44.” Interestingly, most women in this age group would have missed the HPV vaccine or might have been told they were too old to take it when it was first introduced in 2006.

Cervical cancer is a disease that disproportionately affects under-resourced and under-insured communities. “It’s not only imperative that all women have access to vaccinations and regular screenings, but that they keep their appointments and advocate for their sexual health. We’re here to partner with you and have your best interest in mind,” emphasizes Dr. Roller.

Expert Care for All Women

Whether you’re seeking a routine checkup or specialized medical care for a complex condition, trust the experts at AdventHealth to support you with skill and compassion. Our physicians and surgeons are not only some of the most experienced in the country, they also understand the emotional impact that gynecologic issues can cause you.

Schedule your screening today and learn more about how we can help you stay healthy in body, mind and spirit by visiting us here.

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