Posts Tagged ‘cervical cancer screening’

Pap smear – new recommendations

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The Pap smear is the best way to screen for cervical cancer and yearly screening has been routinely recommended for a long time. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, however, is now recommending that screening be changed to once every three years.

The change, supported by various cancer groups including the American Cancer Society, comes from the belief that annual testing finds “a lot of benign infections that would go away on their own.” Philip Castle of the American Society for Clinical Pathology continued saying “You end up overscreening, overmanaging and overtreating women who are not actually at risk of getting cervical cancer.”

The task force was made up of primary care doctors who are experts in the field of evidence-based research. The cancer groups agreed that, for women who are not at increased risk for cervical cancer, testing every three years makes more sense. The cancer groups also agreed with the recommendation that women under the age of 21 do not need to be tested.

 If you’re not certain which schedule is best for you, talk with your health care provider about it.

ACOG revises Pap smear recommendations

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) today announced new guidelines on Pap smears and cervical cancer screenings. The organization says that women can wait until they’re age 21 to have their first Pap tests. ACOG also says that women between the ages of 21 and 30 should have a Pap test and cervical cancer screening once every two years instead of once every year. Women aged 30 and older who’ve had no previous complications in their last three screenings can have a Pap test once every three years.

The organization revised its recommendations based on the latest research about Pap tests and cervical cancer rates, showing that most cervical cancer cases come from women who don’t regularly see health care providers. ACOG also says that data shows testing at two and three year intervals can be just as effective at preventing cervical cancer.

While these recommendations represent a shift in women’s health care, talk to your health provider about what is best for you.