Sources: The Lancet; US Preventivie Serivices Task Force; WebMD
It appears that way. It is largely accepted that 90% of all cervical cancers are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Accordingly, a team of Dutch researchers set out to determine whether detecting the cause of the majority of cervical cancers could out-predict the traditional test. 45,000 women from ages 29 to 56 were screened using both the Pap (Papanicolaou) test and the HPV test.
- The USPSTF strongly recommends screening for cervical cancer in women who have been sexually active and have a cervix.
- The USPSTF recommends against routinely screening women older than age 65 for cervical cancer if they have had adequate recent screening with normal Pap smears and are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer.
- The USPSTF recommends against routine Pap smear screening in women who have had a total hysterectomy for benign disease.
- The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against the routine use of new technologies to screen for cervical cancer.
- The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against the routine use of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing as a primary screening test for cervical cancer.
Perhaps this study will be the first of many which leads the USPSTF to conclude otherwise.
Posted by: David M. Schwadron, Esquire