At the same time, women who don't get cervical cancer screenings-for whatever reason-report even more health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. In the past, their estimates didn't account for women who had undergone hysterectomies-which nearly always removes the cervix, and with it the risk of getting cervical cancer.
Though the new study wasn't created to address racial disparities, experts speculate that the large difference reflects unequal access to preventative medicine and quality healthcare.
But rural areas account for nearly all of the Washington counties with testicular-cancer death rates above the state and national averages, with Walla Walla, Pend Oreille and Columbia counties faring the worse.
Cervical cancer is highly preventable.
The mortality rate due to cancer was on the decline nationwide, but certain regions and pockets throughout the country had shown worsening mortality rates from the deadly malignancy, according to the first-ever county-by-county analysis of cancer deaths across the US.
The report was published in the January 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The U.S. cancer death rate declined by 20.1 percent between 1980 and 2014. For white women, the corrected death rate was 4.7 per 100,000 compared with just 3.2 per 100,000 in the uncorrected data. Current guidelines do not recommend cervical cancer screening after the age of 65, since it was believed that older women were at much less risk.
December unemployment rates up from November locally, statewide
The county's annual average rate topped out at 16.7 percent in 2010, during the depths of the recession in the Valley. For December's labor force, a total of 2,203,251 people were counted, up 8,588 from the number recorded in November.
The new tally of close to 20 million cancer deaths over 35 years offers a more fine-grained view of cancer's toll.
In more depressing news this week, it turns out that cervical cancer is actually killing many more women-and disproportionately women of color-in the United States than was initially thought. American Indians and Alaskan natives have the lowest risk of cervical cancer in this country, according to the American Cancer Society. Cervical cancer vaccines exist, and the disease is slow spreading, easily detectable, and treatable-when women have access to adequate medical care.
Most cases of cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection with cancer-linked types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It can also find cervical cancer early, when it is in its most curable stage. Moreover, local information can also be useful for health care clinicians to understand community needs for care and aid in identifying cancer hot spots that need more investigation to understand the root causes.
Another study in the the Gynecologic Oncology journal, looking at a sample of 15,194 patients with advanced cervical cancer, found that over 50 percent of them were not receiving proper treatment or care-and were most likely to be black women in a low socio-economic bracket.
New evidence on deaths from HPV cancers represents a call to action.
"There's really some striking differences", Dr. Shepard said.