Equal care ensures equal survival for African-American women with cervical carcinoma

Cancer. 2001 Feb 15;91(4):869-73.


Background: [corrected] It was the purpose of this study to investigate whether race is an independent prognostic factor in the survival of patients with cervical carcinoma in a health care system with minimal racial bias, and few barriers to access to care.

Methods: Records for patients with a diagnosis of invasive cervical carcinoma from 1988 to 1999 were obtained from the Automated Central Tumor Registry for the United States Military Health Care System. Clinical data including race, age at diagnosis, histology, grade, stage, socioeconomic status, treatment modality, and survival also were obtained. Survival analysis was performed with Kaplan-Meier survival curves.

Results: One thousand five hundred fifty-three patients were obtained for review. Sixty-five percent of patients were Caucasian, and 35% were minorities. Of the minorities, 29% were African Americans (AAs). Mean age of diagnosis was similar among AAs and Caucasians, 44 and 42 years, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the distribution of age, stage, grade, or histology between Caucasians and AAs. Forty-six percent of patients were treated with surgery and 56% with radiation therapy, with no difference in type of treatment between the Caucasian and AA groups. Five- and 10-year survival rates for Caucasians and AAs were 75%, and 76%, and 64% 65% (P = 0.59), respectively.

Conclusions: In an equal access, unbiased, nonracial environment, race is not an independent predictor of survival for patients with cervical carcinoma. This study has shown, for the first time to the authors' knowledge, that when they receive equal treatment for cervical carcinoma, AA women's survival can approach that of their nonminority counterparts (75% at 10 years).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / therapy*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data