Cervical Cancer Incidence Rates in Texas Counties 1995â€“2015
Keywords:Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Cervical Cancer, Texas
As of 2014, Texas has the 6th highest incidence rate and the 5th highest mortality rate of cervical cancer in the nation. In addition, Texas ranks 3rd to last in the United States in human papilloma (HPV) vaccinations, which helps prevent one of the leading causes of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer incidence rates in Texas remain high, despite it becoming one the most successfully preventable treatable cancers in the United States due to a combination of screenings and HPV vaccinations. Furthermore, spatial distribution of cervical cancer is unknown among Texas counties. This study will follow the political ecology model to elaborate on the political, historical, social, and economic factors that may explain why HPV vaccinations are low and the incidence rate remains high despite the interventions available to people in Texas. This study will examine the geography of cervical cancer in Texas counties from 1995 - 2015 as well as its relationship with religious adherence, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and uninsured rates. I will use a bivariate correlation to relate these factors with cancer incidence rates and ArcMap to create maps to illustrate the spatial distribution of these diseases. The data will be obtained from the Texas Cancer Registry, Texas County Health Rankings 2018, and the Association of Religion Data (CDC) Archives (ARDA). I expect that cervical cancer rates will decline after the introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2007, but areas with higher religious adherence will have higher rates of cervical cancer. In addition, I expect that uninsured rates, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic factors could possibly impact cervical cancer incidence rates.