FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The burden of advanced cervical cancer is increased for women aged ≥65 years, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Julianne J. P. Cooley, from the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento, and colleagues examined late-stage disease among 12,442 patients aged ≥21 years (17.4 percent aged ≥65 years) with a first primary cervical cancer diagnosed between 2009 and 2018. For each age group, the proportions of late-stage disease (stages II to IV) and early- and late-stage five-year relative survival were examined.

The researchers found that compared with younger women (<65 years), more women aged ≥65 years presented with late-stage disease (71 versus 48 percent). Compared with patients <65 years, women ≥65 years had lower late-stage five-year relative survival (23.2 to 36.8 percent versus 41.5 to 51.5 percent). In women aged ≥65 years, characteristics associated with late-stage cervical cancer included older age (odds ratio, 1.02 per year), nonadenocarcinoma histologic subtypes, and comorbidities (odds ratio, 1.59)

“Our findings highlight the need to better understand how the current screening paradigm might be failing women ≥65 years,” the authors write. “Future work should focus on determining past screening history of older women, determining lapses in follow-up care, and noninvasive testing approaches for women nearing age 65 years or those who might need catch-up screening.”

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