Cervical Cancer Plan of Texas: Executive Summary
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, and it can be diagnosed in the earliest stages with screening, leading to better treatment outcomes. Access to appropriate screening and treatment remains critical to the goal of eradicating cervical cancer as a threat to women. Unless every Texas woman can receive timely cervical cancer screening, treatment, and information on prevention, cervical cancer deaths will not be eliminated.
Cervical Cancer in Texas
Texas is a large and diverse state with a population of over 20 million people. Every year, more than 85,000 Texans are diagnosed with cancer, and another 37,000 die from the disease. In 2006, it is projected that more than 1,100 women will be diagnosed, and 391 women are expected to die from cervical cancer in Texas. More than half of new cases are diagnosed in women under 50, and two-thirds of cervical cancer deaths occur in women over 50.
Although Texas cervical cancer incidence rates are declining, following a national trend, Texas women continue bearing an unequal cancer burden, with minority women more likely to develop and die of the disease.
Cervical cancer incidence rates are highest in Hispanic women in Texas, with mortality rates highest in African-American women. Women in these two groups are more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer at later stages, when the disease has already spread and is more difficult to treat.
In addition to ethnic and racial disparities in cervical cancer, marked geographic disparities also exist. Cervical cancer incidence rates are higher along the Texas-Mexico border, regardless of ethnicity. Hispanic women living on the Texas-Mexico border have higher cervical cancer rates than Hispanics living anywhere else in the U.S. Mortality and incidence rates also are higher in rural