A Review of Cervical Cancer: Incidence and Disparities

J Natl Med Assoc. 2020 Apr;112(2):229-232. doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2020.03.002. Epub 2020 Apr 8.


Background: Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer amongst women worldwide. In the United States, its incidence and mortality have been declining due to the wide scale implementation of cytological screening programs. However, there have been geographic disparities in cervical cancer, particularly in the US.

Objective: This review will outline the overall incidence of cervical cancer and discuss the causes for disparities in its incidence and mortality rates.

Methods: A literature review was performed from 1999 to 2020 of English language manuscripts on the incidence and reasons for disparities in mortality rates of cervical cancer.

Results: Racial and ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disenfranchised, and those in rural areas have disparate rates of vaccination, screening and treatment of cervical cancer, leading to worse outcomes.

Conclusions: By addressing these disparities via increased education, access to care, and the expansion of screening and vaccination programs, reductions in cervical cancer incidence and mortality may be achieved.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; Disparities; Incidence; Mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Vaccination Coverage / statistics & numerical data*