Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Less HPV Screening Recommended

Based on data from the past 30 years, the United States Preventitive Agency has released new guidelines recommending pap smears to occur no more than every three years. The data indicate that no significantly greater amount of cervical cancer cases were discovered by pap smears, as explained by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. One reason for the recommendations was the reducing the number of false-positives, and therefore preventing unnecessary painful biopsies and pregnancy difficulties.

Many have accused the task force of altering their recommendations based on the cost of the tests, but they insist that this is not the case.

The relevant part of this is also the recommendation to avoid testing women under the age of 30 for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). They say that even though women under 30 can get HPV, they can almost all clear the virus from the body themselves and need no treatment. It will not affect the rates of diagnosis, since so many positives are currently false positives.


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