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Annual cervical cancer screening persists, despite recommended guidelines
Date:8/17/2011

Philadelphia, PA, August 18, 2011 Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that the majority of primary care providers continue to recommend annual cervical cancer screening, and less than 15% would extend the screening interval when using the Papanicolaou test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test together, as some guidelines suggest. The results of the study are published online today in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG).

Current cervical cancer screening guidelines, issued by the American Cancer Society in 2002 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2003, recommend a combination of a Papanicolaou test and an HPV test, known as an HPV co-test, for women 30 years of age and older. Upon screening, if the results of these two tests are normal, women can wait 3 years for their next cervical cancer screening test. However, annual cervical cancer screening continues to be a common recommendation, regardless if a woman has a history of normal Pap tests or normal HPV co-test. Approximately one-half of providers studied ordered the HPV co-test for their patients.

"Use of the HPV co-test and adherence to the extended screening interval with normal test results reduce patient harms that can be caused by over-testing, including pain, inconvenience, morbidity, and unnecessary follow-up procedures and treatments," commented lead investigator Katherine B. Roland, MPH, a behavioral scientist in CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. "Appropriate use of cervical cancer screening technologies is essential, now more than ever, if HPV co-testing is to be considered a preventive service for women covered by insurance providers."

Analyzing nationally representative data collected in 2006 through the CDC's National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, researchers assessed HPV testing and co-testing pr
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Contact: Francesca Costanzo
ajogmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3249
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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