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 are for 2014:

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

Some researchers estimate that non-invasive cervical cancer (carcinoma in situ) occurs about 4 times more often than invasive cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. Then, between 1955 and 1992, the cervical cancer death rate declined by almost 70%. 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. The death rate from cervical cancer has been stable in recent years.

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 20% 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?" for more specific information on current American Cancer Society screening recommendations.

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: 04/11/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014