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Disparities in gynecologic cancer incidence, treatment, and survival: a narrative review of outcomes among black and white women in the United States
  1. Mary Towner1,
  2. J Julie Kim2,
  3. Melissa A Simon3,
  4. Daniela Matei1 and
  5. Dario Roque1
  1. 1Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Obstetrics and Gynecology, Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  3. 3Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Dario Roque, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA; dario.roque{at}


For patients diagnosed with ovarian, uterine, or cervical cancer, race impacts expected outcome, with black women suffering worse survival than white women for all three malignancies. Moreover, outcomes for black women have largely worsened since the 1970s. In this narrative review, we first provide an updated summary of the incidence and survival of ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer, with attention paid to differences between white and black patients. We then offer a theoretical framework detailing how racial disparities in outcomes for each of the gynecologic malignancies can be explained as the sum result of smaller white–black differences in experience of preventive strategies, implementation of screening efforts, early detection of symptomatic disease, and appropriate treatment. Much research has been published regarding racial disparities in each of these domains, and with this review, we seek to curate the relevant literature and present an updated understanding of disparities between black and white women with gynecologic malignancies.

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer

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  • Contributors MT conducted the review and drafted the manuscript. JJK was responsible for project conception, manuscript review, and editing. MAS, DM, and DR reviewed, edited, and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding Research reported in this publication was supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, grant No P20CA233304 (to MAS, DM, JJK, and DR). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.DRR receives funding support from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.