“There really isn’t a genetic difference that is causing Black women to die at higher rates of cervical cancer,” says Olivia Cardenas-Trowers, MD, a Mayo Clinic urogynecologic surgeon.
“It really has to do more with systemic racism. These disparities started way back when and have infiltrated the healthcare system and affected women’s access to resources and the health care that they need. This trickles down into poor outcomes.
Things that you might not even think of, like transportation, health literacy, even trust in their provider because of injustices that have happened in the past. These things affect their health care.
They may not undergo the typical screening that could catch a abnormality earlier and therefore these cancers may be diagnosed at later stages when the likelihood of mortality is higher. Also, they may have problems getting access to treatment. They may not have the finances to be able to undergo surgery, or chemo or radiation. So all of these can factor into the increased mortality in Black women.”
A 7-minute video from the Mayo Clinic