6 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Cervical Cancer

A woman looking out of a window and smilingBlack women are familiar with certain facts about cervical cancer –how it is caused and that it is preventable. Yet they are still dying at a disproportionately higher rate.   Although cervical cancer occurs most often in Hispanic women, Black women tend to have lower 5-year survival rates and die more often than any other race.  In fact, Black women have twice the cervical cancer mortality rate compared to white women.

Doctors have long thought that less access to screening and follow-up health care were the reasons black women in the U.S. are 40 percent more likely to develop cervical cancer and twice as likely to die from it. The new study involving young college women suggests there might be a biological explanation for the racial disparity, too.

Since infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer and precancers, it is important to avoid genital HPV infection. There are genetic differences between the races and it’s possible that a gene from certain ancestries that might play a role in the ability for Black women to clear an HPV infection, thus making their risk much higher.