Cervical Cancer Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Interventions for Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Cervical cancer is a preventable illness that is easily diagnosed and treated. Overall it affects some 8.1 women per 100,000 each year. However, it disproportionately affects Latinas (11.1 per 100,000) and African American women (10.0 per 100,000), with mortality rates twice as high for African Americans as Whites (4.4 versus 2.2 per 100,000).

These researchers conducted a systematic review of the research literature to determine which interventions improve cervical cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis or treatment for racial or ethnic minorities in the United States. Their search yielded 31 studies—24 sought to increase cervical cancer screening; six to improve the diagnosis and treatment of premalignant lesions of the cervix; one combined screening, diagnosis and treatment).

They found evidence that telephone support with navigation increases the rate of screening for cervical cancer in English-speaking and Spanish-speaking minority women. (Navigation was described as assistance in scheduling appointments, finding low-cost sources of care and getting transportation.) Education programs led by lay health educators with navigation was found effective for Latina, Chinese American and Vietnamese American women.

Additional research should be conducted on the effectiveness of combining lay health educators and navigation as an intervention for cervical cancer screening for African American and Native American women.