Study reveals racial and sexual minorities less likely to undergo cervical cancer screening

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A group from Minnesota found that LGBTQ persons with a uterus and Hispanics are less likely to have routine cervical cancer screeningspan styling=”font-weight 400 ;”>.

A lower rate of Papa testingspan styling=”font-weight 400 ;”>, can lead to higher cervical cancer rates and more successful treatment. The study’s results were published in Cancer, an international interdisciplinary journal by the American Cancer Society.

Ashley Stenzel is senior research scientist at Allina Health. She explained that she did the study as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests were in cancer epidemiology and health disparities. Stenzel worked with colleagues in health-disparities research as well as gynecologic and oncology.


Stenzel stated that the goal of this study was to determine if certain populations are more likely to be unable to access cancer screening. There are certain disparities between racial or ethnic groups. Non-Hispanic blacks have higher rates of cancer and death.

Ashley Stenzel


Stenzel and her research group used data from the



National Health Interview Survey



Data collected between 2015- 2018. The data was collected between 2015 and 2018. The data from this group was compared to that of a similar-aged heterosexual group.


Stenzel stated that the research revealed that people who identify as LGBTQ may not be able to undergo some cancer screenings. He also said that people from different racial or ethnic backgrounds may also be less likely to undergo screenings.

Stenzel, who received her doctorate from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>,, explained that her long-term interest was in finding causes beyond health disparities and ways to close them.


She said that there is a lot of work to be done to improve cancer screening. “We want to find out if there are any populations that face greater barriers in getting screenings.”


Stenzel and her coworkers completed the survey. They then conducted a national follow-up study in which they interviewed LGTBQ members about their experiences with health care.


span style=”font weight: 400 Nearly half of the participants in our study reported that they had experienced discrimination at a doctor’s appointment specifically related to sexual orientation or gender identity.” She suggested that patients may be reluctant to see a doctor for screenings because they have had to endure discrimination.


Stenzel stated that regardless of the reason, lower cervical cancer screening rates in certain populations merits closer examination. “Our study shows that these areas still require a lot of research.”


She stated that she sees many avenues for future research as well as the development of strategies to prevent cancer among targeted populations. The next step is to examine multiple questions at the local level. Is there any barrier in the community that prevents people from seeking care? Or is there a difference in experience within the hospital setting that makes it difficult for people to seek care?


A preventable’ illness


Stenzel stated that cervical cancer can be prevented by early detection and vaccination technology, unlike other types of cancer.


She explained that regular screening for cervical cancer can help you detect it in the pre-cancerous stage. This allows you to act quickly to fix the problem. Stenzel previously worked in clinical research. She said she was able to learn of patients who had advanced, aggressive cervical carcinomas that could have been detected early with cervical cancer screening.

A majority of cervical cancers are caused by infection with the human-papillomavirus (HPV). All ages between 9 and 26 can get vaccinated against disease-causing HPV. A two-dose dose of the vaccine will eliminate a person’s chance of contracting high risk HPV and reduce their (or their sexual partners’) chances of developing cervical cancer.


Stenzel stated that although cervical cancer is preventable, there are still many people who need to know about vaccinations and the benefits of cervical cancer. There are many HPV treatment and detection methods available for cervical cancer. It may be necessary to change the way that medical care is provided.


Stenzel stated that multilevel intervention is needed. “When I see these disparities, I consider it a systemic failure.” Different populations are being failed .”


She believes that there is a history of bias in medical settings that has led to many people from ethnic and sexual minority groups only seeking care for acute problems. Cancer screening might be seen as an “extra step” and pushed to the side. “It is important to address issues surrounding care at the institution level, such implicit biases or systemic discrimination, to better serve patients span>


Stenzel said that systemic change requires trust-building and community outreach. It is important to teach physicians how to care for patients from minorities in a culturally sensitive way.


Stenzel’s research on health-disparities was influenced by her instinctive sense of justice and general discomfort with the notion that certain people get better medical care than others.


span style=”font weight: 400 We know that people from different backgrounds in the U.S. don’t have access to the same medical care, safety in the hospital or the same opportunities for treatment as those in majority communities,” she stated. It’s simply not true.

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