Gynecologic Cancer poses a serious health threat for all women. However, for Latina women in particular, disproportionate numbers are still shouldering a heavier burden of disease rates and mortality as evidenced by the following surveillance data.
- Latinas have the highest rates of cervical cancer of all groups of women. Lack of screening is an important factor behind this disparity: 6 in 10 cervical cancers occur in women who have never received a Pap test or have not been tested in the past five years.
- Latinas also are more likely to die from cervical cancer than non-Hispanic whites.
- Ovarian cancer is recognized as the most lethal type of reproductive cancer, claiming more than 15,000 lives annually. Latina women have lower overall incidence rates than white and African American women, but more are diagnosed with early stage disease than the other two groups. (Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer among Hispanic Women Living in the United States: A Population-Based Analysis, Johns Hopkins July 2012)
These realities underscore the importance of wide-scale public awareness campaigns targeting the Latino community with important messages about steps that can and must be taken to reverse these disparities in order to promote prevention, early detection and optimal treatment.
The Foundation for Women’s Cancer recommends women do three things to prevent cervical cancer:
- Vaccinate early
- Pap test regularly
- HPV test when recommended
Learn more about cervical cancer.