Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 63–70

Social inequities along the cervical cancer continuum: a structured review



ObjectiveTo reveal areas of research/knowledge related to social inequities and cervical cancer. Methods: A Medline search was performed looking for US based research on cervical cancer and social inequities since 1990. The papers found were organized into cells defined by a “cancer disparities grid.” Results: The majority of research published about cervical cancer and social inequities in the US, lies within the social domains of: race/ethnicity and socioeconomic position. Conflicting information exists as to whether race/ethnicity is a good predictor of screening and survival. Some research implied that differentials based on race/ethnicity are likely secondary to differentials in socioeconomic position. Some research about age, insurance status, and immigrant status and cervical cancer was found. Scarce information was found relating to sexuality, language, disability and geography and cervical cancer. Discussion: The “cancer disparities grid” facilitated a systematic and visual review of existing literature on social inequities and cervical cancer. The grid helped to elucidate uncontested existing social inequities, conflicting social inequities, and areas where social inequity data does not exist. The cancer disparities grid can be used as a research tool to help identify areas for future research, clinical programs, and political action related to cervical cancer and social inequities.


cervical cancer health disparity race/ethnicity screening social inequalities in health socioeconomic 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Dana Farber Cancer InstituteBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Vincent Gynecology and ObstetricsMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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