Part of our first-world indifference lies in the assumption that this is a disease relegated to the developing world. While it is true that the heaviest burden is in low-income countries, the reality check is that cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death for American women as well. These days, however, cervical cancer has become a disease of the poor, uneducated minority. As recent research confirms, the disparity in mortality rates between black and white women is even wider than previously believed.”

–Mamta Singhvi, MD, MPH

ASHA recently reported on research published in the journal Cancer that finds the rates at which women die from cervical cancer are higher than we thought. The most chilling conclusion of this paper is that with Black women the rate of death nearly twice as high as previously reported, and the true disparity in cervical cancer mortality between white and black women has been underreported by 44%.

Mamta Singhvi, MD, MPH, is an oncologist who currently serves on ASHA’s board of directors. In a blog appearing on the Huffington Post, Dr. Singhvi offers her perspective as a physician caring for a young woman of color with terminal cervical cancer and offers solutions to the many challenges we face in caring for some of our most vulnerable populations.