(HealthDay News) — The burden of advanced cervical cancer is increased for patients age 65 and older, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Researchers examined late-stage disease among 12,442 patients age 21 and older (17.4% age 65 and older) with a first primary cervical cancer diagnosed between 2009 and 2018.

Compared with younger patients, more patients age 65 and older presented with late-stage disease — 71% and 48%, respectively.

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Among patients with late-stage disease, the 5-year relative survival rate was lower for patients age 65 and older than for patients younger than 65 years. Specifically, the 5-year relative survival rates were:

  • 51.5% for patients aged 20–39 years
  • 47.5% for patients aged 40–59 years
  • 41.5% for patients aged 60–64 years
  • 36.8% for patients aged 65–69 years
  • 39.1% for patients aged 70–74 years
  • 30.8% for patients aged 75–79 years
  • 23.2% for patients aged 80 and older.

In a multivariable analysis among patients age 65 and older, patients were more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage disease if they:

  • Were diagnosed at a later age (odds ratio [OR], 1.02 for each increase with each additional year of age)
  • Had 2 or more comorbidities vs no comorbidities (OR, 1.59)
  • Had squamous cell carcinoma (OR, 1.38)
  • Had subtypes other than adenocarcinoma (OR, 2.52).

Hispanic patients were less likely than non-Hispanic White patients to be diagnosed with late-stage disease (OR, 0.76). Year of diagnosis, marital status, health insurance status, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and urbanicity were not significantly associated with late-stage cervical cancer.

“Our findings highlight the need to better understand how the current screening paradigm might be failing women ≥65 years,” the study authors wrote. “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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