Screening frequently misses endometrial cancer in Black women

endometrial cancer
© Mark Adams

TVUS screening missed over four times more cases of endometrial cancer among Black women versus White women, according to a new study

In the United States, endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer with an estimated 61,880 newly diagnosed cases and 12,160 cancer deaths in 2019.

Transvaginal ultrasound, or TVUS, is a non-invasive procedure used to determine the appropriateness of a biopsy. An ultrasound probe is inserted about two or three inches into the vagina to thoroughly examine the female reproductive organs and measures the thickness of the endometrium or uterine lining.

However, in a recent study using a simulated cohort of 367,073 Black and White women with postmenopausal bleeding, including 36,708 with endometrial cancer, TVUS screening missed over four times more cases among Black women versus White women.


Dr Kemi Doll, the lead researcher, and a gynecologic oncologist with the University of Washington School of Medicine, said:

“This puts Black women at a higher risk of false-negative results. That is unacceptable in a group that is already the most vulnerable to the worst outcomes.”

“Black women have an over 90% higher mortality rate after diagnosis of endometrial cancer when compared with White women in the US.

“This is a long-standing disparity that we have yet to make meaningful progress to address. Although we have focused before on evaluating access to healthcare, in this study we sought to evaluate the guidelines themselves.”

The full study has been published in JAMA Oncology.


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