About 8 million adult women in US did not have screening for cervical cancer in the last five years. Federal officials fear that they are missing a chance to prevent or treat the disease before they succumb to the disease.
Over 50% of the women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer never went for any kind of screening according to CDC. All it needs is a PAP smear to diagnose Cervical Cancer. The PAP smear is a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer. The test can catch the disease early while it is still treatable or preventable. More than 12000 American women have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and out of these 4000 will ultimately die.
CDC’s deputy director, Ileana Arias says, “No woman should die from cervical cancer. Every visit to a provider can be an opportunity to prevent cervical cancer by making sure women are referred for screening appropriately,” said the. “We must increase our efforts to make sure that all women understand the importance of getting screened for cervical cancer. No woman should die from cervical cancer.”
Experts from CDC had evaluated national surveys and found that 11.4 % women were not screened for the cervical cancer in the last five years. One of the biggest factor which hinders women to be motivated to get a PAP smear. More than 23% of the women without health insurance and 25% of women without a regular Doctor or health care provider said that they did not have any PAP smear test in the last five years. The 2010 Affordable Care Act mandates that health insurers provide all cancer screening free.
Cervical Cancer rates were higher among minorities. Women living in the South were more likely to suffer from Cervical Cancer (8.5 cases per 100000) and a death rate of 2.7 per 100000. Lack of transport or a mistrust of the health care system could be one of the reasons.
Vaccination against the HPV virus could prevent a number of cancers and also prevent pre cancerous changes. The HPV vaccine which is recommended is still underutilized.