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Indigenous women 4x more likely to die from cervical cancer

Photo: Cervical cancer killing indigenous women
Indigenous women are twice as likely to develop cervical cancer, and four times more likely to die from it, a new report says.

Indigenous women are four times more likely to die from cervical cancer than others, a new report shows.

More than 3.8 million Australian women aged 20 to 69 underwent cervical cancer screening in 2013/14, the Australian Institute of Health Welfare says.

That means about 57 per cent of all women in that age group are getting themselves checked.

But the report shows some stark divides.

Women who live in inner regional areas are more likely to undergo screening than those in very remote areas (59 per cent to 52 per cent).
And more affluent women are far more likely to undergo checks than those from the lowest socioeconomic areas (64 per cent to 52 per cent).

A lack of data means there are no precise figures on how many indigenous women are taking advantage of screening checks.

But researchers say there's evidence indigenous women are under-screened and one thing is certain - indigenous women are far more likely to develop and die from cervical cancer.

"The incidence of cervical cancer in Indigenous women remains more than twice that of non-Indigenous women, while the mortality rate is four times greater," the report says.

The report shows Australia's diagnosis and deaths rates for cervical cancer are low by international standards, and stable.

In 2016, an estimated 750 women will be diagnosed with the condition, and 163 women will die from it.

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