These US States Has Highest Rates of Breast and Cervical Cancer

With the increase in coronavirus cases in 2020, the healthcare system became overwhelmed, leading to a decrease in patients seeking non-emergency treatments like annual checkups and health screenings. During April 2020, there was an 87% decrease in breast cancer screenings and an 84% decrease in cervical cancer screenings compared to the average of the previous five years, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The pandemic has impacted both individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and those with other health conditions, making it more challenging to receive timely medical preventive treatment.

A study in the October 2021 issue of Preventive Medicine analyzed the effects of COVID-19 on screenings in the first half of 2020. It found a decrease in cervical and breast cancer screening across different regions, ethnicities, races, and rural areas. The results were closely linked to the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases during spring 2020.

As per CDC guidelines, mammograms and Pap smear tests are essential tools in combating breast and cervical cancer. Women aged 50-74 are advised to have a mammogram every two years according to the USPSTF guidelines. Moreover, it is advised that women between the ages of 21 and 29 undergo cervical cancer screening every three years. For women aged 30 to 65, the USPSTF recommends getting a Pap test every three years and/or HPV testing every five years.

Yet, with increased awareness of the significance of these detection tools, one obstacle preventing women from receiving their recommended screenings is the availability of quality care. Health disparities pose a significant public health issue that can impede cancer screening and treatment. Individuals without insurance, unable to travel to doctor appointments, and encountering language or cultural obstacles typically experience poorer health results. In order to save lives and achieve the desired screening targets, it is crucial to address these gaps to guarantee access to quality healthcare.

North Carolina breast cancer screening rates

Breast cancer screening rate in past 2 years, ages 50-74: 80.32%

  • #13 highest among all states
  • 2.02% higher than national average

North Carolina cervical cancer screening rates

Cervical cancer screening rate in past 3 years, ages 21-65: 81.76%

  • #3 highest among all states
  • 3.46% higher than national average

Only ten states are achieving the goals for mammography screening. Healthy People 2020 aimed to boost the number of women getting screened for breast cancer by 2020 as a national public health objective. It is recommended that women aged 50 to 74 undergo a mammogram every two years. State Cancer Profiles reported that in 2020, 78.3% of women in the U.S. received screenings, which was below the target goal of 81.1%.

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Ten states and territories successfully met the target goal of over 81.1%: Maryland, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Louisiana, Maine, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

States with the highest breast cancer screening rates

  • Massachusetts: 86.66%
  • Rhode Island: 84.81%
  • Hawaii: 83.8%
  • Maine: 82.88%
  • Louisiana: 82.24%

States with the lowest breast cancer screening rates

  • Wyoming: 65.77%
  • Alaska: 70.09%
  • Utah: 71.43%
  • Idaho: 71.73%
  • Oklahoma: 71.92%

No states achieve the Pap test screening targets. In 2019, 73.5% of women between the ages of 21 and 65 were current with cervical cancer screening. Although the percentage may seem high, it has significantly dropped over the last decade. The State Cancer Profiles, an interactive map engine maintained by the CDC and National Cancer Institute, confirms that none of the states achieved the national target of having 93% screened by 2020.

States with the highest cervical cancer screening rates

  • Connecticut: 82.42%
  • Mississippi: 82.39%
  • North Carolina: 81.76%
  • Kentucky: 80.75%
  • South Dakota: 80.69%

States with the lowest cervical cancer screening rates

  • Alaska: 69.17%
  • Utah: 70.47%
  • Idaho: 71.18%
  • Illinois: 71.61%
  • Wyoming: 72.37%

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