Minority Women Face Disparities in Mammogram Results, Cervical Cancer Cases, Reports Find
The following summarizes recent news coverage of studies on minority women and cancer.
- Mammograms: Black women are more likely than white women to report not having received or understood their mammography results, according to a report expected to be published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health, HealthDay News/WFIE News reports. For the report, lead researcher Beth Jones, an associate professor of epidemiology and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine, and colleges compared mammography results for 411 black women and 734 white women who had the procedure at one of five hospital-based facilities in Connecticut between October 1996 and January 1998. Researchers also interviewed the women to determine their understanding of the results and then compared them with their medical records. Overall, 14.5% of the women misunderstood their results or said the results were not adequately communicated to them. In addition, 86% of women who reported a communication problem did not receive their results and 14% received their results but researchers found that the women's interpretation of the results differed from the medical record. Eighty-six of the black women in the study, about 21%, experienced inadequate communication about their results, compared with 80 white women, about 11%. Thirty-one percent of the black women who experienced inadequate communication had an abnormal mammogram result, compared with 6.5% of the white women in the same situation (Doheny, HealthDay News/WFIE News, 1/31).
- Cervical cancer: Rates of invasive cervical cancer declined in the U.S. from 1998 to 2002, though the disease continues to affect minority women disproportionately, according to a report published in the most recent issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reuters Health reports. For the report, Mona Saraiya of CDC and colleagues examined data covering 87% of U.S. women and identified 59,848 cases of cervical cancer during the five-year study period. The annual number of cases declined from 10.2 per 100,000 women in 1998 to 8.5 per 100,000 in 2002. Hispanic women had the highest incidence at 14.8 cases per 100,000 women, followed by black women at 13.5 cases, and Asian or Pacific Islander women and white women at 8.9 cases per 100,000. Among Hispanic women ages 40 or older, rates were 26.5 or more cases per 100,000 women; among black women ages 50 or order, rates were 23.5 or more. Researchers said the findings indicate that more screening in older women is needed, and they recommended guidelines to increase minority women's access to screenings (Reuters Health, 1/31). An abstract of the study is available online.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.