Black and Latina women are nearly three times more likely to die of cervical cancer than white women in Chicago, according to a recent report by local nonprofit Equal Hope, formerly the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, which also found drastic variations among neighborhoods.
“Realistically, nobody should be dying of cervical cancer if you have good vaccinations and rigorous, high-quality screening with appropriate referrals. That should catch cervical cancer at its pre-cancer stages or early stages,” says Equal Hope’s Executive Director Anne Marie Murph. “But that requires the health care system to operate well, and in Chicago, health care systems don’t always serve women of color and women of (fewer) resources all that well.”
Murphy believes Equal Hope can halve the number of cervical deaths in Chicago within a decade and eliminate the disease citywide within two decades. The organization is gathering experts to look at different stages of care, from diagnosis to treatment, to identify potential barriers to care and develop improvements for health systems. It will also collaborate with organizations that do vaccination outreach and education, as well as encourage women of all ages to be screened regularly.
See “Nonprofit Equal Hope Aims to Eliminate Cervical Cancer in Chicago by 2040” by Kristen Thometz on the WTTW (Chicago) television website (November 5, 2019)