Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screening and Outcomes.

Abstract

Invasive cervical cancer disproportionately affects women without sufficient access to care, with higher rates among minority groups in higher-income countries and women in low-resource regions of the world. Many elements contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in the cervical cancer continuum - from screening and diagnosis to treatment and outcome. Sociodemographic factors, access to healthcare, income and education level, and disease stage at diagnosis are closely linked to such inequities. Despite the identification of such elements, racial/ethnic disparities persist, and are widening in several minority subgroups, particularly in older women, who are ineligible for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and are underscreened. Recent studies suggest that racial/ethnic differences in HPV infection exist and may also have a role in observed differences in cervical cancer. In this review, we provide an overview of the current literature on racial disparities in cervical cancer screening, incidence, treatment and outcome to inform future strategies to reduce persistent inequities.