Study: Cervical Cancer Is Harder to Clear In Black Women
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

We’re no more than two days into National Minority Health Month and already a grim report has surfaced.

New research presented Sunday shows that black women are at a higher risk of contracting and dying from cervical cancer than white women. In addition, the study revealed black women have a much harder time getting rid of HPV than their white counterparts, according to researchers at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. All 326 white and 113 black students were given Pap tests and HPV exams every six months throughout their years in school.

Until now, many doctors thought less access to screenings and follow-up health care were the reasons why there was such a racial disparity in surviving the disease. However, the study involving young college-age women suggests that the reason might be biological.

If additional research supporting this finding is revealed, it would make the HPV vaccine even more important for black women, said prevention specialist at the National Cancer Institute Worta McCaskill-Stevens. The vaccine is recommended for all girls starting at age 11.

The study was presented at an American Association for Cancer Research conference in Chicago.

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Sade K. Muhammad

Sadé Muhammad is a news intern at Before Black Enterprise, she was a fashion writer for, blogger and research intern for, and a marketing and web intern for WPVI-TV/6ABC in Philadelphia, PA. Sadé is a senior magazine journalism major and honors student at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. With a passion for empowerment and solidarity among women of color, she is developing a print and online lifestyle magazine catering to this very audience for her senior thesis. When she’s not writing, she is talking fashion, travel, and Knicks basketball.