Cervical Cancer


“Beginning sexual activity within 1 year of starting menses increases a women’s lifetime risk of cervical cancer 26-fold, as opposed to beginning sexual activity after age 23 (64).”
Introduction and Prevalence
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide, and is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths. It is the most common cancer among women in developing countries. Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death in the United States; however, the annual incidence has remained steady at 8 cases per 100,000 women over the past several years (56). 
Cervical cancer is a slowly progressive disease that proceeds through a premalignant stage for many years, which is called cervical dysplasia. It is during this time that an abnormality on a women’s Papanicolaou test (Pap smear) should be discovered and invoke further testing. During this stage the opportunity to screen repeatedly decreases the impact of a single false-negative test, increasing the likelihood of detecting cervical dysplasia before it becomes cancer (56). Cervical cancer is one of the few preventable cancers through routine screening and treatment of dysplasia. Much of the decline in the number of cervical cancer deaths is due to the introduction of widespread screening with the Pap test (56). The mean age at the time of a cervical cancer diagnosis is 51.4 years, with equal numbers of women between the ages of 30-39 years being diagnosed as those between the ages of 60-69 (57). However, there is an increase in the stage of the cancer at a later age, which suggests that fewer women are getting screened as they get older.


Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan

The Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control (CNCCC) Project assists in the development of networks and collaboration that produce an infrastructure for a comprehensive approach to cancer within the Cherokee Nation. Since 2003, coalition members and partners have come together to discuss the burden of cancer in Cherokee Nation. Coalition members and partners include local, regional, state and national representatives committed to identifying areas of cancer concern, planning interventions, prioritizing greatest areas of identified need, and then implementing identified strategies and/or providing needed resources. This is the second edition of the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and will serve, like the first, as an information resource for health care professionals and community members, as well as a tool for the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and its respective entities. The coalition is committed to the process of enhancing infrastructure for comprehensive cancer control in the Cherokee Nation with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality among the Cherokee community.