Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To describe differences in cervical screening and biopsy results by race or ethnicity from women in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). METHODS: We examined the percentage of abnormalities detected by Papanicolaou (Pap) tests and the rate of biopsy-diagnosed high-grade precancerous or cancerous lesions by racial or ethnic group. RESULTS: Almost half the 628,085 women screened were members of racial or ethnic minority groups. American Indian or Alaska Native women were more likely than others to report never having had a prior Pap test. American Indian or Alaska Native women had the highest proportion of abnormal Pap tests for first program screens (4.4%), followed by blacks (3.2%), whites (3.0%), Hispanics (2.7%), and Asians or Pacific Islanders (1.9%). Whites had the highest biopsy detection rate of high-grade lesions for first program screens (9.9 per 1000 Pap tests), followed by Hispanics (7.6), blacks (7.1), American Indians or Alaska Natives (6.7), and Asians or Pacific Islanders (5.4). CONCLUSIONS: This program provides important data on the prevalence of cervical neoplasia among diverse populations. Our findings that black women with a high-grade Pap test were less likely to get a work-up are disconcerting and merit further study and ultimate correction.