March 3, 2007

States Making Gains In Cervical Cancer Prevention Efforts, Report Says

Many states are making gains in cervical cancer prevention efforts, but significant economic and racial disparities remain, according to a Women in Government report released Tuesday, HealthDay News reports. According to the report, 67% of states experienced a decrease in cervical cancer incidence and 51% experienced a drop in cervical cancer mortality (Gardner, HealthDay News, 1/16). According to a Women in Government release, even though HPV vaccines have been developed, "screening will still be critical to protect women against cervical cancer caused by HPV types not covered by the vaccine, for women already exposed to HPV types targeted by the vaccine and for women who do not receive the vaccine." The findings of the third annual report, titled, "Partnering in Progress 2007: The 'State' of Cervical Cancer Prevention in America," are based on testing rates, rates of uninsured women, coverage of screening technology in state health care programs and legislative action on the issue (Women in Government release, 1/16). Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates for black and Hispanic women were higher than rates for white women in the majority of states, the report found. Minnesota was the only state to receive a score of "excellent," and Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, North Carolina and Rhode Island also received high scores from the report. These states had Medicaid programs that cover HPV testing for women ages 30 and older, at least 87% of "age-appropriate" women screened for cervical caner in the last three years and at least 82% of women with health insurance. According to the report, 49% of states experienced an increase in the rate of uninsured women. Idaho received the lowest score, followed by South Dakota and Utah, the report found. "I'm pleased that the majority of states, including the District of Columbia, saw a decrease in cervical cancer incidence and mortality, and we also have a number of states that put cervical cancer prevention legislation into place last year," Susan Crosby, president of Women in Government, said, adding, "Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go." In 2006, 25 policy measures were introduced nationwide that addressed cervical cancer prevention. About 3,700 U.S. women died of cervical cancer last year (HealthDay News, 1/16).

The report is available online.

"Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

No comments: