The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday said that a staggering eight million American women have not undergone screening for the deadly cervical cancer in the past five years.
In a report released on Wednesday, the federal health officials said that in the year 2012 alone more than 11 percent women living in the United States were not been screened for cervical cancer.
With 23 percent, the number for unscreened women was much higher among those women who didn’t have health insurance. It was even higher– nearly 26 percent– for those who did not have any regular health care provider.
“Every visit to a provider can be an opportunity to prevent cervical cancer by making sure women are referred for screening appropriately. We must boost our efforts to make sure that all women understand the importance of getting screened for cervical cancer. No woman should die from cervical cancer,” Ileana Arias, a CDC director, said in a statement.
Some of the key findings of the CDC study include:
- The percentage of women aged 21 to 65 years who received CDC-recommended pap tests was greater among Asians/Pacific Islanders i.e. nearly 20 percent, Native Americans i.e. 16.5 percent and elderly women i.e. nearly 13 percent.
- The rate of cervical cancer incidence declined between 2007 and 2011 by nearly 2 percent a year, but the death rate remained stable.
- South reported the highest cervical cancer rate (8.5 cases per 100,000), the highest death rate (2.7 cases per 100,000) and the largest percentage of unscreened women in the past five years (about 12 percent).
According to the health experts, a timely and proper screening can restrict illnesses from further growth and save lives of millions. More than half of new cases of cervical cancer occur among those women who have rarely or never undergone screening for their symptoms.