Cervical Cancer

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What Is Cervical Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about cervical cancer?

The American Cancer Society's estimates for cervical cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

  • About 12,360 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed.
  • About 4,020 women will die from cervical cancer.

Cervical pre-cancers are diagnosed far more often than invasive cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of the Pap test. This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early − in its most curable stage.

Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife. Most cases are found in women younger than 50. It rarely develops in women younger than 20. Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age. More than 15% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65. However these cancers rarely occur in women who have been getting regular tests to screen for cervical cancer before they were 65. See the section, "Can cervical cancer be prevented?" and our document Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection for more information about tests used to screen for cervical cancer.

In the United States, Hispanic women are most likely to get cervical cancer, followed by African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and whites. American Indians and Alaskan natives have the lowest risk of cervical cancer in this country.


Last Medical Review: 09/19/2014
Last Revised: 10/13/2014