Black women in the United States are 37 times more likely than their White counterparts to get cervical cancer, according to a new study from the University of South Carolina.
Even more alarming, the study found, African American women are 61 percent more likely to die from the disease than White women.
The disparity is most dramatic in rural areas, say the researchers, because this is the region where Black women are least likely to get their recommended screenings.
Unfortunately, experts say, cervical cancer is too often viewed as a women’s – and increasingly as a Black women’s – disease. In reality, they say, it is a malady that affects entire communities.
"Many consider cervical cancer to be only a women's issue and this may be true in a biological sense, however in South Carolina and around the world cervical cancer is an issue that impacts not only women but families and communities," said Dr. Saundra Glover.
Ironically, a recent controversial report has called for less frequent cervical cancer screenings.