DefinitionThe proportion of women 18 years or older who reported having a Pap test in the last three years.
NumeratorThe proportion of women 18 years or older who reported having a Pap test in the last three years.
DenominatorThe total number of female survey respondents aged 18 or older excluding those who responded "don't know" or "refused" to the numerator question.
Data Interpretation IssuesTo reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS has changed survey methodology. In 2010, it began conducting surveys by cellular phone in addition to landline phones. It also adopted "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) as its weighting method. More details about these changes can be found at: [https://ibis.health.utah.gov/pdf/opha/resource/brfss/RakingImpact2011.pdf].
Why Is This Important?Cervical cancer is one of the most curable cancers if detected early through routine screening.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection of high-risk types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine protects against the HPV types that most often cause cervical cancer. Women who have had an HPV vaccine still need to have routine Pap smears because the vaccine does not fully protect against all the strains of the virus and other risk factors that can cause cervical cancer.
HPV is transmitted through sexual contact. Any woman who is sexually active is at risk for developing cervical cancer. Other risk factors include giving birth to many children, having sexual relations at an early age, having multiple sex partners or partners with many other partners, cigarette smoking, and use of oral contraceptives.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends cervical cancer screening (Pap smear) every 3 years for women 21 to 65 years old. For women 30 to 65 years old, Pap smears may be conducted every 5 years in conjunction with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing.
Healthy People Objective: Increase the proportion of women who receive a cervical cancer screening based on the most recent guidelinesU.S. Target: 93.0 percent
State Target: currently being revised
How Are We Doing?Cervical cancer screening rates have continually fallen since 2010 at both the state and national level. Between 2012 and 2020, the percentage of Utah women aged 18 or older who reported receiving a Pap test within the last three years decreased from 70.7% to 62.9% (age-adjusted rates), compared to a national rate of 68.8%.
Cervical cancer screening rates in Utah vary by geography, ethnicity, race, socio-economic status, and age.
For combined years 2019 and 2020, Southwest Utah (52.8%) and San Juan (47.5%) local health districts reported the lowest cervical cancer screening rates when compared to the state rate (60.1%), while Salt Lake County (63.9%) and Summit County (69.6%) reported higher rates. See additional data views for screening rates by Utah Small Areas.
In 2020, women who identified as Hispanic reported receiving a screening for cervical cancer within the past 3 years at a higher rate (65.3%) than women who identified as non-Hispanic (62.4%), although this was not significantly different. Those who identified racially as Pacific Islander reported the lowest rates (46.8%), while those who identified as Asian (70.4%) and Black (71.2%) reported the highest rates in 2019-2020.
In 2020, and when looking at the highest level of education completed, college graduates (69.7%) and those with some post high school education (68.5%) were more likely to have received a Pap test than those with a high school diploma (63.9%) or those with no high school degree (59.7%). Women in households with annual incomes less than $25,000 (51.6%) were significantly less likely to have had a Pap test in 2020 than women in households with higher incomes (total 67.6%).
Women age 18-34 years old (56.1%) were significantly less likely to have had a Pap test in 2020 than women age 50-64 (69.4%) and women age 35-49 (78.5%). The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend screening for cervical cancer in women older than 65 years who have had adequate prior screening and are not otherwise high risk for cervical cancer.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Cervical cancer screening rates have continually fallen since 2010 at both the state and national level. Screening rates in Utah have also consistently been lower than national rates.
Nationally, the percentage of women aged 18 or older who reported receiving a Pap test in the past three years decreased from 80.7% in 2010 to 68.8% in 2020. In Utah, the percentage of women who received a pap test decreased from 74.3% in 2010 to 62.9% in 2020. The latest state rates from 2020 indicate that only 62.9% have received a cervical cancer screening test within the past 3 years.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) provides vouchers for free Pap tests and pelvic exams to women who meet age and income guidelines. Eligible women with abnormal screening exams are offered diagnostic evaluation by participating providers. In addition, the UCCP provides education about the need for early detection and the availability of screening services, collects outcome data, and disseminates information about cervical cancer.
The Utah Comprehensive Cancer Control program (CCC) and its affiliated coalition, the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN), work together with state and local partners to reduce the burden of cancer in Utah. Their mission is to lower cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality in Utah through collaborative efforts directed toward cancer prevention and control. As a result, they support community-based strategies around food security, healthy neighborhoods, access to health care, and financial toxicity in order to prevent cancer; detect cancer early; and improve the lives of cancer survivors, caregivers, and their families.
Additionally, CCC receives funding to implement cancer prevention and control strategies identified by the program and UCAN coalition.
Health Program InformationIn 1976, the Utah Department of Health received a cervical cancer grant from the National Cancer Institute. In 1980, the Utah Department of Health began providing clinical breast exams and Pap tests on a sliding fee scale. In 1993, state funding was appropriated for mammography. In that same year, the Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) first received a capacity building grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct breast and cervical cancer screening in Utah. A comprehensive grant was awarded to the program in 1994 to continue breast and cervical cancer screening. Since 1994, the UCCP and partners, including local health departments, mammography facilities, pathology laboratories, and private providers, have worked together to ensure the appropriate and timely provision of clinical services.
The UCCP continues to receive funding from the CDC for breast and cervical cancer screening. Additionally, the Utah Comprehensive Control program (CCC) receives funding to implement cancer prevention and control strategies identified by the program and the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) coalition.