, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 61-68

Race-specific results of Papanicolaou testing and the rate of cervical neoplasia in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, 1991–1998 (United States)

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Abstract

Objective: To describe differences in cervical screening and biopsy results by race or ethnicity from women in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).

Methods: We examined the percentage of abnormalities detected by Papanicolaou (Pap) tests and the rate of biopsy-diagnosed high-grade precancerous or cancerous lesions by racial or ethnic group.

Results: Almost half the 628,085 women screened were members of racial or ethnic minority groups. American Indian or Alaska Native women were more likely than others to report never having had a prior Pap test. American Indian or Alaska Native women had the highest proportion of abnormal Pap tests for first program screens (4.4%), followed by blacks (3.2%), whites (3.0%), Hispanics (2.7%), and Asians or Pacific Islanders (1.9%). Whites had the highest biopsy detection rate of high-grade lesions for first program screens (9.9 per 1000 Pap tests), followed by Hispanics (7.6), blacks (7.1), American Indians or Alaska Natives (6.7), and Asians or Pacific Islanders (5.4).

Conclusions: This program provides important data on the prevalence of cervical neoplasia among diverse populations. Our findings that black women with a high-grade Pap test were less likely to get a work-up are disconcerting and merit further study and ultimate correction.