Gynecologic cancer disparities: a report from the Health Disparities Taskforce of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology

Gynecol Oncol. 2014 May;133(2):353-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.12.039. Epub 2014 Jan 7.


Objectives: To review the extent of health disparities in gynecologic cancer care and outcomes and to propose recommendations to help counteract the disparities.

Methods: We searched the electronic databases PubMed and the Cochrane Library. We included studies demonstrating quantifiable differences by race and ethnicity in the incidence, treatment, and survival of gynecologic cancers in the United States (US). Most studies relied on retrospective data. We focused on differences between Black and White women, because of the limited number of studies on non-Black women.

Results: White women have a higher incidence of ovarian cancer compared to Black women. However, the all-cause ovarian cancer mortality in Black women is 1.3 times higher than that of White women. Endometrial and cervical cancer mortality in Black women is twice that of White women. The etiology of these disparities is multifaceted. However, much of the evidence suggests that equal care leads to equal outcomes for Black women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers. Underlying molecular factors may play an additional role in aggressive tumor biology and endometrial cancer disparities.

Conclusion: Gynecologic cancer disparities exist between Black and White women. The literature is limited by the lack of large prospective trials and adequate numbers of non-Black racial and ethnic groups. We conclude with recommendations for continued research and a multifaceted approach to eliminate gynecologic cancer disparities.

Keywords: Cervical; Disparities; Endometrial and ovarian cancers; Ethnic; Gynecologic cancer; Racial.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / ethnology*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / mortality
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / therapy
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • United States
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*