Differences in cervical cancer mortality among black and white women

Elizabeth A. Howell, Ya Ting Chen, John Concato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether stage of disease and treatment patterns account for mortality differences between black and white women with cervical cancer. Methods: Using data obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program for 1988-1994, we determined the associations between race and stage, and race and treatment. Racial differences in survival for up to 7 years of follow-up were adjusted for age, marital status, SEER location, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage of disease, lymph node status, grade, histology, and treatment. Results: Cumulative mortality was 36% (366 deaths in 1029 women) for black women and 24% (1215 deaths in 5021 women) for white women; unadjusted hazard ratio was 1.60 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.43, 1.80). Black women were more likely to present with advanced disease than white women (43.8% compared with 34.8%). In a model adjusting for demographics and FIGO stage, the hazard ratio for black women compared with white women decreased to 1.35 (95% CI 1.19, 1.54). Treatment varied by race, with black women receiving surgery less often (33.5% compared with 48.2%, respectively) and radiation therapy more often (35.3% and 25.2%, respectively) than white women. In a comprehensive model including demographic factors, FIGO stage, other tumor characteristics, and treatment, the adjusted hazard ratio for mortality remained high for black women at 1.30 (95% CI 1.14, 1.48). Conclusion: Race remains an independent predictor of cervical cancer survival after accounting for age, stage of disease, treatment patterns, and other factors. Future studies should assess racial differences in clinical severity of disease, comorbidity, and socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


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