ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) –According to a recent study, the rate of cervical cancer in the U.S. is hgher than previously thought.

The study found that the rate is up 55 percent among all women.

“All the women who had hysterectomies in a given year were removed from the denominator number, thereby making the rates of cervical cancer higher,” Dr. Tara Shirazian, a gynecologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York told CBS News.

By removing the women who had total hysterectomies, the rates turned out to be higher than previously thought.

“The study actually looked at age as one specific risk factor for development of cervical cancer and for having hysterectomies, and both those two things increases as women age,” Shirazian said. “Over the age of 50 to 65 was really the group and then they even noticed a second peak in women over the age of 70.”

The rate increase was higher in African-Americans because the rates of hysterectomies are higher in that group.

“We know that African-American women do have higher rates of hysterectomy related to fibroid surgery,” Shirazian said.

Cervical cancer is a malignant neoplasm arising from cells originating in the cervix. All women are at risk for cervical cancer.  It occurs most often in women over age 30.

“Women, as they age, should be sure to come in to the gynecologist and get annual visits and checkups,” Shirazian said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2010 – the most recent year numbers are available – that 11,818 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer; and that almost 4,000 women in this country died from cervical cancer that year.


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