Objective: Differences in cervical cancer incidence rates by race/ethnicity persist in the United States. We examined these differences by histologic type and by various patient and socioeconomic characteristics.
Methods: Thirteen U.S. cancer registries were used to identify women 20-79 years of age diagnosed from 1992 to 2003 with invasive cervical cancer. Age-adjusted incidence rates and annual percent changes were calculated for four different races/ethnicities (Non-Hispanic whites, Hispanic whites, African-Americans, and Asians/Pacific Islanders) for cervical cancer overall, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and adenocarcinoma (AC).
Results: Hispanic whites had the highest incidence rate of cervical cancer overall (24.2/100,000), SCC (18.3/100,000), and AC (4.6/100,000). Non-Hispanic whites had the lowest rates of cervical cancer overall (10.8/100,000) and SCC (7.2/100,000), while African-Americans had the lowest rate of AC (2.3/100,000). Incidence rates of cervical cancer overall and SCC declined across all racial/ethnic groups. Numerous variations in incidence rates and annual percent changes were observed when analyses were stratified by county level socioeconomic characteristics.
Conclusions: Variations in screening utilization and socioeconomic status may account for the majority of racial/ethnic disparities in cervical cancer incidence. Targeting groups with the greatest burdens of cervical cancer is of public health importance, particularly as we enter the human papillomavirus vaccine era.