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Cervical Cancer Statistics

Quick California Statistics
  • In 2004, eighty-five percent of women age 18 and older reported having a Pap test within the last 3 years. California ranks 29th along with eight other states.
  • In 2004, only 78% of Asian Pacific Islander women age 18 and older reported having a Pap test in the last 3 years. This is compared to 94, 86 and 84 percent of Blacks, Whites and Hispanics, respectively.
  • In 2007, it is estimated that 1,465 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
  • In 2007, it is estimated that 400 women will die from this disease needlessly . 
Nationwide Trends
  • Cervical cancer rates are higher among women aged 40 and older.
  • Over the past 40 years the incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer have leveled off due to Pap test screening, except for foreign-born women. Their rates continue to rise.
  • In 2007, an estimated 11,150 cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.
  • In 2007, an estimated 3,670 will die, unnecessarily, of cervical cancer. 

Health surveys indicate that the women least likely to have cervical cancer screening have no health insurance and/or no usual source of health care and are recent immigrants. Studies show underserved women have attributes such as low-income, low education, living in rural or inner city areas, foreign born, racial/ethnic minority, older, disabled and uninsured or underinsured which contribute to their risk of cervical cancer

Snapshots of cervical cancer screening nationwide
  • Data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey indicate that 43-60 percent of women (based on race/ethnicity) in the United States have not thought about getting a Pap test within the past 3 years.
  • This same data indicates that 7-11 percent of women surveyed (based on race/ethnicity) state that they did not have a Pap test in the last 3 years because their doctor did not recommend it.
  • Nearly 17 percent of women using public health insurance in the United States indicate that they haven't had a Pap test within the past 3 years because their doctor didn't recommend it, compared to 11 percent of those with private insurance. 
Factors that may contribute to Asian Pacific Islander women's lower cervical cancer screening rate

The information provided below is from the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program summary findings in cervical cancer screening outreach literature. Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Vietnamese women are represented in the findings.

  • A common barrier to screening, across all races, was language. These women have little to no English proficiency.
  • Barriers common to all races were the absence of health insurance and no physician's referral or recommendation for a Pap test.
  • Women in these cultures are not familiar with the concept of preventive healthcare and frequently have no regular health care provider.
  • Asian Pacific Islander women indicate that they are shy, embarrassed and modest regarding the Pap test, especially with a male doctor. 
Factors that may lead to an increase in the cervical cancer screening rate of never or rarely screened Asian Pacific Islander women
  • Have a female health care provider or provide a female member of the health staff as support during the exam.
  • Provide a physician referral or recommendation.
  • Use a professional interpreter, preferably female (not a family member, especially not a child.)
  • Provide a person to guide them through the health care facility.
  • Make the office and visit a warm, friendly environment.

Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts offers free pelvic exams and Pap tests to women age 25 and older. To see if you qualify for these free tests call 1-800-511-2300 Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.  We speak English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese. 

Last modified on: 1/23/2008 11:42 PM