The Importance of Cervical Cancer Screenings for Black Women

Rebecca Berry, Esq.

Today, Rebecca Berry, Esq. from Black Women’s Health Imperative published a blog post that highlights the vibrant life of her grandmother and her preventable death from cervical cancer, bringing to light the importance of access to cervical cancer screenings.  

Compared to White women, Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with HPV-related cervical cancer. In addition, Black women are still twice as likely to die from cervical cancer as white women. It is critical that we work to eliminate the disparities we see in cervical cancer diagnoses and deaths by increasing access and utilization of life-saving preventive services such as cervical cancer screenings.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans offer cervical cancer screenings at no extra costs. Women at an average risk for cervical cancer should receive their first screening at age 21. If you are between the ages of 21 to 29 years, experts recommend you receive a Pap test every 3 years. If you are between 30 and 65 years, it is recommended you receive a Pap test and an human papillomaviru (HPV) test every 5 years or be screened with a Pap test every 3 years. You should talk to a provider about the screening strategy right for you if you are between the ages of 30 and 65. Early detection increases treatment success rates and saves lives.

Check out the full blog post here.