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Study Boosts Cervical-Cancer Rate Estimates

A new study questions the way U.S. cervical-cancer rates are calculated and finds much higher estimates. Rates rose the most among women in their 60s and black women. Previous studies have included all women, even those who have had the uterus and cervix removed by hysterectomy. But the new study notes that a woman without a cervix would not be able to develop cervical cancer. Researchers used numbers on cervical cancer rates taken from a government registry in 18 states. They estimated hysterectomy numbers based on a national health survey. They calculated that about 11.7 cervical-cancer cases per 100,000 women are diagnosed each year. Rates were highest between ages 40 and 44 and then fell. But cervical cancer rates were 18.6 per 100,000 when only women who still had a cervix were included. And rates kept rising with age. The highest rates were between ages 65 and 69.

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