Cervical cancer mortality rate higher in Israel

Just 40% of Israeli women know to get screened for the disease, news station revealed - half of the rate in other OECD countries.

Tova Dvorin,

Cancer research (illustrative)
Cancer research (illustrative)

Hundreds of women are diagnosed every year with cervical cancer and cervical tumors in Israel - but are at higher risk for dying from the disease than in other OECD countries, according to a report released Monday. 

Cervical cancer is the second-most fatal malignant disease for women, the World Health Organization (WHO) states.

But while the global mortality rate from the disease has declined 80-90% over the past 50 years, the mortality rate is still at 1960s levels in Israel, Army Radio reports.

17 out of every million die from cervical cancer every year in the US - a country of nearly 319 million - whereas 21 out of every million die from the disease in Israel, a country of 8 million. 

The problem: screening. 80% of women in other Western countries undergo PAP screening once every three years or more - whereas just 40% in Israel do. 

"We have not done enough yet to raise awareness," Dr. Jacob Korah, deputy director of the department of Gynecology and Oncology at Sheba Hospital and a consultant for the Israel Cancer Association, stated to the station. He believes directives to get screened should be included in school sexual education courses.

Part of the problem, as well, is that the test is not covered under the basic health basket given to each Israeli citizen - and the test therefore can have prohibitive costs.

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