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Women with previous abnormal cervical cells at higher risk for recurrence and invasive cancer
Date:5/12/2009

New research from the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research has found that women who have been treated for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (abnormal cervical cell growth), are at higher risk for a recurrence of the disease or invasive cervical cancer. The large, population-based study, which appears in the May 12 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, sheds new light on the long-term risks of subsequent abnormal cell growth or invasive cancer, and should help in the development of follow-up treatment guidelines for women with a history of treatment for abnormal cells.

"We now have a much more clear idea of the risks of recurrent abnormal cells and invasive cervical cancer over time after treatment of these cells," said Joy Melnikow, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Associate Director of the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, who led the study. "Recurrence risk depends on the grade of abnormal cells that was initially treated, what treatment was used and the woman's age."

In the study, which used data from the British Columbia Cancer Agency cytology database and was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, Melnikow and colleagues identified 37,142 women who were treated for abnormal cells from Jan. 1, 1986 through Dec. 31, 2000. They compared them with a group of 71,213 women with no previous diagnosis of abnormal cells. Both groups were under active surveillance through 2004.

They found that risk of subsequent abnormal cells or cervical cancer was associated with the type of treatment they received, their age and the initial grade of diagnosis. There are three levels of abnormal cervical cells; grade 3 is the most severe. There is no standard treatment for abnormal cells; at early stages, abnormal cells are monitored to determine if they resolve without treatment. At later stages, the type of treatment depends on several variables, including
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Contact: Dorsey Griffith
dorothy.griffith-pease@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9118
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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