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Health groups issue cervical cancer screening guidelines
Date:3/14/2012

positive). Costs and other financial issues were not considered in creating the guidelines.

"Pap tests have been done yearly in the past, but we now know that annual screening is not needed and in fact can lead to harm from treatment of cell changes that would never go on to cause cancer," said Debbie Saslow, PhD, director of breast and gynecologic cancer for the American Cancer Society. "Since 1980, organizations including the ACS have recommended less frequent screening. With the addition of the HPV test, we can test even less frequently, as the risk of pre-cancer and cancer when both tests are negative is so low. With these recommendations, our groups are helping to make sure women get the full lifesaving benefits of screening while minimizing its known harms."

Other new recommendations included in the guideline:

  • Women at any age should NOT be screened annually by any screening method.
  • Women with a slightly abnormal Pap test result (called "ASC-US") and a negative HPV test can be screened again with co-testing in 5 years or with the Pap test alone in 3 years.
  • Women with a negative Pap result but a positive HPV test can either be rescreened with co-testing in one year, or tested with a test for specific types of HPV (HPV16 and HPV 18).

The updated guidelines were first released in draft form in late 2011. The working groups that created the draft guidelines then met with delegates from 25 organizations to further discuss and finalize the recommendations, which were then adapted into this final guideline.

"Our process resulted in guidelines that are focused on collectively presenting the best patient-centered cervical cancer screening strategies," said Mark Stoler, MD, past-president of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. "These final recommendations are based on a broad and emerging body of literature, and meld the very latest knowledge on the interplay between new molecular tests and tra
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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