(HealthDay)—A considerable proportion of women are diagnosed with cervical cancer after age 65, according to a study presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology's Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer, held from March 24 to 27 in New Orleans.
Sarah Dilley, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues queried data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER-18) program database and the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) to determine the incidence of cervical cancer.
The researchers observed a decrease in the overall rates of cervical cancer cases over time, with a Kendall's Tau B of −0.85 and −0.68 for patients aged 20 to 49 years and for those aged 75 years and older, respectively, using SEER-18 data. From 2000 to 2014, 19.7 percent of cervical cancer cases were diagnosed in women aged 65 years or older in the SEER-18 database; there was no significant change in this proportion over time. From 2004 to 2014, in the NCDB, 18.9 percent of cervical cancer cases were diagnosed in women older than age 65. On examination by age decile, 5.1 percent of cervical cancer cases were diagnosed from age 20 to 29 years, yet 8 percent were diagnosed from age 70 to 79 years.
"Professional societies should consider extending the age screening requirements to improve outcomes for this older population of women," Dilley said in a statement.
Explore further: Facts women and men should know about cervical cancer