Just the Facts: Cervical Cancer Disparities

February 21, 2024

In 2024, an estimated 13,820 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, and 4,360 will die from the disease.[i] Cervical cancer can affect any person with a cervix and most often is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Persistent HPV infection causes almost all cervical cancers but fortunately there is a safe and effective vaccine against HPV.

Preventing cervical cancer is possible because of the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer screening. HPV vaccination provides an opportunity to prevent cancer outright. The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause 90% of cervical cancers, as well as several other cancers and diseases. In addition, screening for cervical cancer can both identify and remove precancerous abnormalities preventing cancer altogether and detect cancer earlier when treatment can be more successful.[ii]

In fact, in the U.S. cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates have declined by more than 50% over the past three decades because of access to screening, and more recently, HPV vaccination, but not all people have benefited equally from these advances. Disparities in cervical cancer across incidence, stage distribution, geography, and mortality largely reflect socioeconomic disparities and a lack of access to care, including cervical cancer screenings


[i] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2024.

[ii] IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Cancer Preventive Strategies, IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention: Cervical Cancer

Screening. International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France, 2022. 18.