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The increasing incidence of stage IV cervical cancer in the USA: what factors are related?


Objective Cervical cancer (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)) stage IVA-B (distant stage) is a rare diagnosis with an approximate 5 year survival rate of 17% and with limited treatment options. The objective of this study was to determine the trends in distant stage cervical cancer in the USA and identify possible factors related to these trends.

Methods Data were obtained from the United States Cancer Statistics program from 2001 to 2018. Rates of cervical cancer screening and vaccination were evaluated using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and TeenVaxView. SEER*Stat and Joinpoint regression program were used to calculate incidence trends.

Results Over the last 18 years, 29 715 women were diagnosed with distant stage cervical carcinoma. Black women have disproportionately higher rates at 1.55/100 000 versus 0.92/100 000 in White women (p<0.001). When examining the trends over time, there has been an annual increase in distant stage cervical cancer at a rate of 1.3% per year (p<0.001). The largest increase is seen in cervical adenocarcinoma with an average annual percent change of 2.9% (p<0.001). When performing an intersection analysis of race, region and age, White women in the South aged 40–44 have the highest rise in distant cervical cancer at a rate of 4.5% annually (p<0.001). Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and TeenVax data, compared with Black women, we found that White women have a nearly two-fold higher rate of missed or lack of guideline screening, 26.6% vs 13.8%. White teenagers (13–17 years) have the lowest human papillomavirus vaccination rate at 66.1% compared with others at 75.3%.

Conclusions Black women have a higher incidence of distant stage disease compared with White women. However, White women have a greater annual increase, particularly in adenocarcinomas. Compared with Black women, White women also have lower rates of guideline screening and vaccination.

  • adenocarcinoma
  • cervix uteri

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository.

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