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Women's Health

Health Tip: Pap Test for All Women? (HealthDay)

13 years, 4 months ago

713  0
Posted on Jun 01, 2005, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

HealthDay - (HealthDay News) -- The Pap test for cervical cancer has become a routine part of most women's annual checkups. But new guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society suggest that certain groups of women can safely forgo it: Women aged 70 or older who have had three or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal Pap test results in the last 10 years may choose to stop having cervical cancer screening. Women with a history of cervical cancer, DES exposure before birth, HIV infect

The Pap test for cervical cancer has become a routine part of most women's annual checkups. But new guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society suggest that certain groups of women can safely forgo it:

  • Women aged 70 or older who have had three or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal Pap test results in the last 10 years may choose to stop having cervical cancer screening. Women with a history of cervical cancer, DES exposure before birth, HIV infection or a weakened immune system should continue to have screening as long as they are in good health.
  • Women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) may also choose to stop having cervical cancer screening, unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer or pre-cancer. Women who have had a hysterectomy without removal of the cervix should continue to follow the guidelines above.
  • All women should begin cervical cancer screening about three years after they begin having vaginal intercourse, but no later than when they are 21 years old. Screening should be done every year with the regular Pap test or every two years using the newer liquid-based Pap test.
  • Beginning at age 30, women who have had three normal Pap test results in a row may get screened every two to three years with either the conventional (regular) or liquid-based Pap test. Women who have certain risk factors such as diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure before birth, HIV infection, or a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, chemotherapy, or chronic steroid use should continue to be screened annually.

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