Black Women Twice as Likely to Die from Cervical Cancer

NewsOne, April 1, 2012

Provocative new research might help explain why black women are so much more likely than whites to develop and die from cervical cancer: They seem to have more trouble clearing HPV, the virus that causes the disease.

Doctors have long thought that less access to screening and follow-up health care were the reasons black women are 40 percent more likely to develop cervical cancer and twice as likely to die from it. The new study involving young college women suggests there might be a biological explanation for the racial disparity, too.

If further study confirms this novel finding, it would make the HPV vaccine even more important for black women, said Worta McCaskill-Stevens, a prevention specialist at the National Cancer Institute. The vaccine is recommended for all girls starting at age 11.


Researchers at the University of South Carolina in Columbia studied 326 white and 113 black students taking part in a wider federal health study. All were given Pap tests—lab exams of cells scraped from the cervix—and HPV tests every six months throughout their years in school.

Although the groups were similar in how many new HPV infections were detected and risk factors such as how many sex partners they had, doctors saw striking differences in how long their infections lasted.

At any checkup, blacks were 1.5 times more likely to test positive for infection with one of the HPV strains that raise cancer risk, said study leader Kim Creek.

“The African-American women weren’t clearing the virus as fast. They were actually holding onto it about six months longer,” for 18 months versus 12 months for whites, he said.

Ten percent of blacks had abnormal Pap tests versus 6 percent of whites.

Two years after initial infections were found, 56 percent of black women were still infected but only 24 percent of whites remained infected.


The results are “provocative” and need validation in a study that looks beyond this one region, said McCaskill-Stevens of the cancer institute.

“We have known there are genetic differences between the races,” and it’s possible that a gene from certain ancestries such as African might play a role in the ability to clear an HPV infection, she said.


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  • This may very well be true, but I await results that will show, unequivocally, differences between races in spatial “intelligence”, in creativity (this will be complex & nuanced investigation), in emotional response & moral standards.

    Monozygotic (identical) twins research has produced astonishing results, beyond belief. The same with female/male brain. I expect something spectacular re racial differences.

  • The_Bobster

    Black Women Twice as Likely to Die from Cervical Cancer

    STD’s will do that to a woman. YT must somehow be responsible.


    “The African-American women weren’t clearing the virus as fast. They were actually holding onto it about six months longer,” for 18 months versus 12 months for whites, he said.

    It’s hard to clear the virus when your many partners still have it.

  • redshirts

    The scientists are clearly pathological and sick racists. Only racist Nazi scientist would even look at genes. But if they do find a connection, we all “must do more” to amend Obamacare so that black women are given every advantage that the Federal Government can give them at screening for cancer while at the same time protecting them from the stereotypes implied by the “dangerous discoveries” coming out of racist laboratories and racist medical studies.

    Asia for Asians. Arabia for Arabians. Africa for Africans. White Countries for Everybody, because everybody knows that making White babies is a hate crime against global diginty.

  • It is in every Black woman’s interest to have regular pap smears. If she is under 26, she needs to get the Gardasil injection that will prevent HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      26 is WAY WAY WAY too late!!  Blacks start having sex much younger than that — Guardasil is being given to 10-12 year olds and some think it’s too late by then, there is talk of giving it to 3rd graders!!

      The vaccine doesn’t work if one has already been exposed to HPV.


      • anonymous_amren

        It still works if one has already been exposed to HPV, because there are 4 different strains of HPV that Gardasil targets, and one would have to have been exposed to all 4 already for the vaccine to be useless.

      • crystal evans

        How early do Black children have sex? I do know that Black girls develop sooner that girls of other races. But then again, obesity is a factor in early puberty and Blacks have high rates of obesity.

    •  Most of them think that pap stands for pop (like Michael Jackson etc.)

  • I’m sure contracting a handful of STD’s before the age of 18 has nothing to do with the high rate of cancer.  I can only hope it thins the horde.

    • No

      What it will thin is our wallets since we’re the ones who have to pay for their health care. 

      This is like a bad dream.  We pay for blacks to be born . . . feed them breakfast lunch and dinner . . . pay for them to destroy the school system . . . pay for the cops and judicial system . . . pay for the jails to lock them up in and the guards to watch them . . . pay them welfare . . . pay when they get sick and pay to bury them.

      Heck, why don’t we just give them free sail-phones while we’re at it . . .

      Oh wait, we’re already doing that too.

  • Obama’s dear mom died of cancer,I think it was in fact cervical,at the young age of 50 something. (Funny that she IMMEDIATELY rushed back to the USA to get medical care. Her Indonesian and African lovers didnt seem to be what was needed!) I wonder if her sexual relationship with Obama Sr.,and God only knows who else of the African persuasion!!!!–caused this cancer. Perhaps the diseases he carried,or the DNA itself? All I knw is that her parents were long-lived and she was decidedly NOT!!(Nor is she missed)

    • kjh64

      Obama’s mom died of breast cancer.

  • No

     “a biological explanation for the racial disparity, ”

    Tell me it isn’t so!

    And here I thought the reason the NFL is 85% black is because young black athletes want to rise above poverty.   The reason 50% of prison inmates are black is because the judicial system is racist.  The reason blacks are one standard deviation lower on the IQ scale is due to bad nutrition after birth.  The reason Africa and Haiti are open sewers is because of white exploitation.

    You mean, there just MIGHT be some biological explanations for racial disparity? 

    (PREDICTION:  This finding will be quietly shelved as a medical risk factor.  It won’t be allowed to support the notion that racial differences are more than just skin deep.)

  • I’m sorry for every person suffering from the cancer- but Black women’s sexual morality is almost non-existent category. Of course there are BW who behave differently, but, thsee are stats.

    You play, you pay.

  • anonymous_amren

    Comments like that show why we need gender realism 🙁 Please control your emotions and try using thought instead.

    I would recommend injecting all black people (male and female, any age) with Gardasil. It would almost completely stop this cancer, and also stop genital warts, and also prevent them from passing it on to white people.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    No, it’s that perpetual ‘lack of access to health care’ that they suffer from.

     That, plus the one example that has stayed in my head since my husband and I both witnessed over 20 years ago and still laugh hysterically about: while waiting for the doctor in an exam room we heard through paper-thin walls our doctor trying his best to explain to a middle aged obese (-this we know because we saw and heard her later in the check out window), black female  (this we knew simply because we heard her) that she needed a test. Then we heard a  horrendous screech, a loud, “Oh, Lawddy!!!! No, oh no, you ain’t agwinna do THAT!  Oh, LAWDDDY. Nussir, nussir,  DYE’ LL MAKE YOU DIE!!  Oh, Lawddy!!!!”   Quote/Unquote. It took several staff to try to calm the nitwit down.

  • mikejones91

    I disagree. Trust me. I am “racist” I do NOT like black people, for the most part. I am repulsed by black women. In America anyways, hell world wide. White women are the most sexually open. Sexually liberated. You guys just make it seem like a bad thing. Its not. Look at Sweden/The nordic countries. They are the definition of sexual openness. Black women are prude/cocky/smelly/boring/ Simply put. White women are just more fun. Smarter/More outgoing/Prettier (obviously) and….MORE SEXUALLY OPEN! Its a good thing friend. Don’t worry.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    “… it would make the HPV vaccine even more important for black women.”

    Translation:  They are too dumb to take care of their own health responsibly.