DefinitionRate of newly reported cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 females.
NumeratorNumber of newly reported cases of cervical cancer for a specific time period.
DenominatorMid-year resident female population for a specific time period.
Data Interpretation IssuesCancer cases do not include in situ. Mortality rates may vary from source to source. This may be due to using provisional data or using different population databases. The cancer mortality rates provided by the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/chronic/pages/cancer/registry.aspx Alaska Cancer Registry] use population estimates provided by the [http://seer.cancer.gov/ Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)] of the [http://www.cancer.gov/ National Cancer Institute]. In contrast, [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/data/default.aspx Alaska Vital Statistics] uses [http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm population estimates] provided by the State Demographer in the [http://laborstats.alaska.gov/ Research and Analysis Section] of the [http://labor.alaska.gov/ Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development].
Why Is This Important?In 2018 there will be an estimated 13,240 new cases of malignant cervical cancer and 4,170 deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife and is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44. Cervical cancer usually can be found early by having regular Pap tests. Although about 15% of cervical cancer is diagnosed in women over the age of 65, it rarely occurs in women who have been getting regular Pap tests prior to age 65.^1^
The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The HPV vaccine protects against the HPV types that most often cause cervical cancer. Women who have had an HPV vaccine still need to have routine Pap tests because the vaccine does not fully protect against all the strains of the virus and other risk factors can also cause cervical cancer.^2^
Other risk factors include smoking, immunosuppresion, chlamydia infection, diets low in fruits and vegetables, being overweight, long-term use of oral contraceptives, young age at the first full-term pregnancy, multiple (3 or more) full-term pregnancies, and a family history of cervical cancer.^2^
Incidence rates tell us about the rate at which new cases of a condition occur. As such, the incidence rate of cervical cancer is an important indicator of the burden of this type of cancer in Alaska, allowing us to monitor how this burden changes over time and also to compare this burden among sub-populations.[[br]]
1. American Cancer Society. [http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-key-statistics What are the key statistics about cervical cancer?] [[br]]
2. American Cancer Society. [http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-risk-factors What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?]
Healthy People Objective: Reduce invasive uterine cervical cancerU.S. Target: 7.1 new cases per 100,000 females
How Are We Doing?Although cervical cancer in Alaska has not ranked high for the number of cancer incidence cases over the last 5 years, it is one of the few cancers (with breast and prostate) that can be detected early through routine screening.
In Alaska for 1996-2015 period, the incidence of cervical cancer ranged from a high of 26.4 per 100,000 females in Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area to a low of 6.0 per 100,000 females in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, compared to the statewide rate of 7.9. There were several boroughs/census areas for which rates were not calculated because they had less than 6 cases.
By race for 1996-2015, Alaska Natives had a higher incidence rate of cervical cancer than any other race at 10.8 per 100,000 females, compared to 7.4 for Whites, 6.7 for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 6.6 for Blacks.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The number of cases of malignant cervical cancer in Alaska is relatively low, averaging about 25 per year. The actual number of cases varies from year to year, resulting in varying incidence rates. However, Alaska's rates exactly follow the U.S. trend, both of which show decreasing rates with time. In 2015, Alaska's cervical cancer incidence rate was 8.2 per 100,000 females compared with the U.S. rate of 7.6 in 2014.