Cervical cancer is completely avoidable with screening and prevention. Yet 70 years after the widespread implementation of cervical cancer screening, cervical cancer still results in thousands of premature deaths of young to middle-aged women in the United States. Furthermore, underrepresented minorities appear to be disproportionately affected with advanced cervical cancer. Prior research done has looked at large databases, survey studies and retrospective data that largely excludes underrepresented minorities. Therefore, qualitative interviews were performed with 11 women with advanced cervical cancer in South Jersey, 45% of which self-reported as black non-Hispanic. Through open coding, several themes were elicited, most of which centered around a lack of access to care and missed cues to action. Specific themes included: lack of insurance, miseducation, poverty, and black race. The women interviewed expressed a desire for the healthcare community to reach out to their communities with more accessible care and clear messaging regarding cervical cancer screening and prevention. This qualitative study provides a window into the myriad of reasons for a lack of cervical cancer screening and prevention in underserved populations in the United States and points to future opportunities for outreach.
Bilbao, DO, Michelle, "Factors Surrounding Advanced Cervical Cancer in South Jersey: The Patient’s Perspective" (2021). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 412.