Can you die from cervical cancer?
[.highlighted] Q: Dear Teal, [.highlighted] It seems like cervical cancer is highly preventable, so I’m wondering — can you die from cervical cancer?
A: The good news is, you’re right — cervical cancer is highly preventable. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), when cervical cancer is detected and diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 91 percent. But when cervical cancer has spread to distant areas of the body, that survival rate drops to 19 percent. This means that yes, tragically, thousands of women in the U.S. will die from cervical cancer this year.
This makes it crucial to stay up-to-date on your cervical cancer screenings as it is the only way to know whether you are at risk of developing cervical cancer. It’s also devastating but important to note that Black women have twice the cervical cancer mortality rate compared to white women. Women of color are disproportionately less likely to be up to date on their cervical cancer screenings — and more likely to die from the disease. We can reduce both the inequality and unnecessary deaths by ensuring all women know how important it is to stay up to date on these life saving exams.