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Black Women Have Highest Mortality Rate of Cervical Cancer Subtype Compared to All other Groups

, by Maura Kate Costello, M.A.

In the largest nationally representative population-based study of its kind, and the first to correct for hysterectomy prevalence, investigators found that Black women experience the highest mortality rate for cervical adenocarcinoma (ADC), despite having the lowest incidence of this cervical cancer subtype. Findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December 2022.

While screening efforts have contributed to decreasing rates of cervical cancer incidence in the U.S., these trends differ by subtype. Overall declines have been driven by a reduction in the more common subtype, cervical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but rates of ADC have been increasing. However, research has been limited on the differences in survival and mortality rates according to subtype, including the contribution racial and ethnic differences may have on those rates.

To investigate this, Camryn Cohen, postbaccalaureate fellow in the Clinical Genetics Branch, with her mentor, Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., and colleagues, conducted the first integrated, population-based analysis to evaluate hysterectomy-corrected cervical cancer incidence, survival, and mortality rates by histologic subtype, race/ethnicity, and stage and age at diagnosis, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.

Investigators found that although Black women are less likely to be diagnosed with ADC, they have the highest death rates for this subtype compared to all other racial and ethnic groups due to profound survival disparities, which may indicate a lack of access to timely, high-quality care.

More research is needed to investigate factors that influence receipt of high-quality care and potential biological factors unique to ADC to better understand the reasons for these survival disparities among Black women with ADC.


Cohen, CM. et al. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cervical Cancer Incidence, Survival, and Mortality by Histologic Subtype. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2022.