Health For AllWomen and Child HealthBD's Survey Reveals Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screening

BD’s Survey Reveals Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screening

Survey reveals global cervical cancer screening challenges, empowering women through knowledge.

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FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J./PRNewswire/- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a prominent global medical technology company, has released comprehensive insights from a recent Harris Poll survey, shedding light on significant disparities in cervical cancer screening practices among women in the United States, United Kingdom, and Sweden.

Global Impact of Cervical Cancer:

Globally, cervical cancer remains a significant health challenge, claiming the lives of over 340,000 women annually. Despite its prevalence as the fourth most common cancer among women, it is considered highly preventable through comprehensive screening and prevention strategies.

Access Barriers to Gynecological Services:

The survey exposes barriers to access, revealing that a substantial percentage of women in the surveyed countries have delayed gynecology visits. Primary reasons for these delays include discomfort with pelvic exams and feelings of embarrassment. Notably, U.S. women face unique challenges, with a significant number citing a lack of access to an OB/GYN or insurance coverage as reasons for delayed visits, underscoring existing health equity issues in the U.S. healthcare system.

Additionally, The survey introduces self-collection for cervical cancer screening as a potential solution to improve access and address disparities. Already implemented in various countries, including Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Kenya, Australia, and New Zealand, self-collection offers a promising alternative. The majority of surveyed women express comfort in performing a self-collected vaginal test at home for cervical cancer screening, highlighting its acceptability among women in all three geographies.

Interest in At-Home Screening:

Across the surveyed regions, a significant proportion of women express interest in at-home screening for HPV or cervical cancer. Reasons for this interest include the convenience of at-home testing, the ability to self-administer the test without a doctor, and the avoidance of scheduling appointments with healthcare practitioners. The survey indicates that younger women, in particular, are more likely to show interest in self-collection methods.

Notably, U.S. women, in a country where self-collection is not currently available, express a unique perspective, with twice as many indicating that they would want to self-collect at home due to perceived cost savings.

Knowledge Gaps and Misconceptions:

The survey highlights significant knowledge gaps and misconceptions related to cervical cancer screening. Moreover, Women in the U.K. demonstrate a higher likelihood of considering themselves knowledgeable about screening frequencies, yet there remains a substantial belief that cervical screening should be conducted annually among a significant portion of U.K. women. In the U.S., a majority holds incorrect beliefs about the accuracy of Pap tests in detecting cervical cancer.

Also Read: Nigeria Implements Africa’s Largest HPV Vaccine Drive to Combat Cervical Cancer

Despite the majority of women acknowledging cervical cancer screening as a critical part of their health management, there is a pervasive sense of confusion and lack of clarity regarding screening guidance. Many women find the distinctions between Pap tests and HPV tests unclear, despite the fact that HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer.

Dr. Jeff Andrews, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Integrated Diagnostic Solutions at BD, emphasizes the crucial role of education. “As a physician, I have an obligation to educate patients about ways to prevent and options to screen for cervical precancer. My patients are interested in knowing more about HPV, the types, the risks, and management of abnormal results. More knowledge about high-risk HPV types and cervical cancer screening can empower people with a cervix to take greater control of their own health.”

Survey Methodology:

Conducted online by The Harris Poll, the survey gathered responses from 1,112 U.S. women, 506 women in the U.K., and 520 women in Sweden. Also, The sampling precision indicates an accuracy within +/- 2.7 percentage points for the U.S. sample, +/- 3.3 percentage points for the U.K. sample, and +/- 3.7 percentage points for the Swedish sample, with a 95% confidence level.

For further details on the survey methodology and additional findings, please contact [email protected].

BD’s commitment to raising awareness, improving education, and advocating for accessible screening options underscores the urgency of addressing cervical cancer disparities on a global scale.

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