Breaking News
May 24, 2018 - Healthy lifestyle counseling program linked to reduced risk of developing cancers
May 24, 2018 - CU research sheds light on liver disease caused by intravenous nutrition
May 24, 2018 - Skin cream containing rapamycin reduces TSC-related facial tumors
May 24, 2018 - Suicide rates twice as high among black children finds new study
May 24, 2018 - Researchers find new method to treat severe asthma
May 24, 2018 - Scientists report new strategy for fighting bacteria
May 24, 2018 - South Asians living in the United States more likely to die of heart disease and stroke
May 24, 2018 - Health Tip: Why Get a Biopsy
May 24, 2018 - Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence by Race/Ethnicity and Sex in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–2012
May 24, 2018 - Motivation to move may start with being mindful
May 24, 2018 - Advanced genetics study of TB bacteria uncovers virulent ‘Beijing lineage’ strain among young adults
May 24, 2018 - Friends tend to have similar pain tolerance levels, study reveals
May 24, 2018 - Now more of us can count on more time dodging the dementia bullet
May 24, 2018 - Global healthcare access and quality improved from 2000-2016
May 24, 2018 - Virtual follow-up visits for hypertension care just as effective as in-person office visits
May 24, 2018 - New research reveals links between type 1 diabetes and mental health
May 24, 2018 - Antioxidant-enriched multivitamin may decrease respiratory illnesses in CF patients, finds study
May 24, 2018 - Antidepressant treatments increase risk of weight gain, study finds
May 24, 2018 - INSYS Therapeutics Confirms Outcome of FDA Advisory Committee Meeting on Buprenorphine Sublingual Spray
May 24, 2018 - Poor older adults with Medicaid insurance more likely to die after hospital discharge
May 24, 2018 - Early-life obesity linked to children’s lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores
May 24, 2018 - Health and diagnostics to soon be digitalized with advent of AI
May 24, 2018 - USC researchers develop new portable device for early-stage malaria detection
May 24, 2018 - Psychologists show that depression accelerates brain aging
May 24, 2018 - Novel IR imaging offers rapid and reliable analysis of cancer tissues
May 24, 2018 - Tau mutations may serve as novel risk factor for cancer
May 24, 2018 - Sun Pharma Announces FDA Approval of Yonsa (abiraterone acetate) to Treat Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
May 24, 2018 - Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts
May 24, 2018 - Unique imaging technique identifies biomarkers of cellular damage done by diabetic retinopathy
May 24, 2018 - Study identifies key food allergy policies that parents want in schools to improve safety of kids
May 24, 2018 - Formaldehyde risk found to be higher in e-cigarettes than originally thought
May 24, 2018 - NIH commences first-in-human trial evaluating experimental treatment for Ebola
May 24, 2018 - Study finds no link between surveillance intensity and detection of recurrence or survival in CRC patients
May 24, 2018 - FDA Alert: Oral Over-the-Counter Benzocaine Products: Drug Safety Communication
May 24, 2018 - Fiber-fermenting bacteria improve health of type 2 diabetes patients
May 24, 2018 - Free e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit, money does finds study
May 24, 2018 - Higher exposure to carbon monoxide in utero increases risk of poor lung function in infants
May 24, 2018 - Neurologists identify new type of vertigo
May 24, 2018 - Scientists identify new inherited neurodevelopmental disease
May 24, 2018 - New family support program improves patient-centered care and lowers hospitalization costs
May 24, 2018 - Researchers take important step toward finding protein biomarkers during cancer surgery
May 24, 2018 - Deadly form of black lung disease found to be increasing among U.S. coal miners
May 24, 2018 - Robust Immune Responses for Herpes Zoster Subunit Vaccine
May 24, 2018 - Optical Coherence Tomography | Texas Heart Institute
May 24, 2018 - Type 2 diabetes slowly rising in Auckland kids – Pacific and Māori have highest rates
May 24, 2018 - Study explores brain chemistry of alcohol exposure in people with family history of AUD
May 24, 2018 - Study shows AVATS procedure as safe, effective alternative for patients deemed ‘inoperable’
May 24, 2018 - Comparative Analysis of a Complex Monoclonal Antibody
May 24, 2018 - Penn investigators discover source of immune molecule involved in nasal polyps, asthma
May 24, 2018 - Berries and Grapes May Keep You Breathin’ Easy
May 24, 2018 - Access and utilization of dental services for Medicaid children 2013-2015
May 23, 2018 - New research raises concern about rate of postpartum hemorrhage
May 23, 2018 - Researchers create new modeling framework that takes a zoonotic perspective on Ebola
May 23, 2018 - Study compares bacteria in humans to the laboratory
May 23, 2018 - Frequent sauna bathing reduces risk of stroke
May 23, 2018 - Landmark trial to test implantable defibrillator in diabetic patients with history of heart attack
May 23, 2018 - Vitamin C consumption may reduce harm to baby’s lungs due to smoking during pregnancy
May 23, 2018 - Researchers complete genomic map of chronic lymphocytic leukemia
May 23, 2018 - Medical students take to the streets to learn about real world problems at the root of poor health
May 23, 2018 - New efforts to curb high blood pressure in Asia
May 23, 2018 - Malaria-causing parasite seeks refuge inside the liver to replicate and survive
May 23, 2018 - Slower rates of stimulation may be more effective in brain therapy, suggests research
May 23, 2018 - Study finds connection between one partner’s BMI and other spouse’s risk of developing diabetes
May 23, 2018 - Mapping the Genes Responsible for Pluripotency
May 23, 2018 - FDA Alert: Homeopathic Teething Drops, Nausea Drops, Intestinal Colic Drops, Stomach Calm, Expectorant Cough Syrup, Silver-Zinc Throat Spray, and Argentum Elixir by MBI Distributing: Recall
May 23, 2018 - Genetic fixer-uppers may predict bladder cancer prognosis
May 23, 2018 - Investigational technology could increase donor organ supply for lung transplants
May 23, 2018 - Prediabetic patients with OSA could lower their resting heart rates by using CPAP
May 23, 2018 - Schizophrenics’ blood samples feature genetic material from more types of microorganisms
May 23, 2018 - Subtle hearing deficits can change the brains of young people
May 23, 2018 - New study shows increased rates of hospitalization for suicide among youths
May 23, 2018 - Proportion of Drug-Intoxicated Organ Donors on the Rise in U.S.
May 23, 2018 - Using virtual biopsies to improve melanoma detection
May 23, 2018 - Compassion meditation training may increase brain’s resilience to suffering of other people
May 23, 2018 - New AAD PSA uses social media imagery to highlight tanning hazards
May 23, 2018 - Frequent MRSA surveillance could contain infection in newborns, study finds
May 23, 2018 - Medicaid expansion linked to reduction in ICU utilization
May 23, 2018 - Proteins moderating nicotine dependence may help fat cells burn energy
May 23, 2018 - Researchers identify mechanisms that regulate mammary gland development
May 23, 2018 - ‘Low-Alcohol’ Booze Labels May Backfire
Is It Time to Scrap the Pap Test?: MedlinePlus Health News

Is It Time to Scrap the Pap Test?: MedlinePlus Health News

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

HealthDay news image

MONDAY, Nov. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) — If you’re a woman who’s been given the all-clear after one or more combination tests for cervical cancer, you can probably wait five years between screenings, a new large study suggests.

The combination of tests for cervical cancer includes a test to detect the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the test commonly known as the Pap test. HPV is a virus that causes almost all cases of cervical cancers. The Pap test looks for abnormal changes in cells in the cervix that indicate cancer or precancerous changes.

Currently, women are advised to have these two tests every five years if they’ve had negative results in the past, according to the authors of the new study. Or, women can opt to have a Pap test every three years.

But “women who’ve had one or more negative HPV tests are at extremely low risk of cervical cancer or precancer, [and] this paper shows we can safely extend the screening interval to five years,” said study first author Philip Castle. He’s a professor in the department of epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Castle said that not all medical groups agree that the screening interval should be five years.

“There’s a natural tension between the medical and public health sides,” he said. “Oncologists see the few failures that come from longer screening, but on the public health side, it’s clear you can’t get to perfect and that there are harms related to screening, so we need to reach a balance.”

One big concern on the medical side is that women might mistake longer intervals for cervical cancer screening to mean that they don’t need to see their ob-gyn every year, said Dr. Mitchell Kramer, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

“It’s important for women to come for their regular exam each year,” Kramer said. “We do a breast exam and make sure women are getting the other cancer screenings they need, as well as look at other issues or problems related to sexual function and bowel and bladder function.”

The study included nearly 1 million women who received cervical cancer screenings from the Kaiser Permanente health care system in northern California. The screenings took place from 2003 to 2014.

The odds of cervical cancer dropped with each five-year combination of test results that showed no HPV and no abnormal cells from the Pap tests. Even without the Pap results, the HPV test detected a similar drop in the risk of cervical cancer, suggesting the HPV test alone might be OK, the study authors said.

Castle explained that most women who get infected with HPV acquire the infection within 10 years of first beginning sexual activity. So, if a woman has had multiple negative HPV tests done at five-year intervals, “the chances of developing invasive cervical cancer is exceedingly small because it’s extremely rare for a new infection to be acquired in older women,” he said. “Age is a modifier here. Older women tend to be in more stable relationships.”

Having multiple partners, or having a partner who has multiple partners, increases the risk for HPV infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also notes that it usually takes decades for an HPV infection to develop into cervical cancer.

But not everyone is convinced that it’s acceptable to wait five years between tests.

“I’m hesitant to sign on and advocate for five years just yet,” Kramer said. “On occasion, there are still women that may have picked up HPV, and longer intervals might miss those patients. I’m more comfortable with three years.”

Castle again pointed to finding a balance. “No matter how much we screen, we’ll never get to zero risk,” he said.

The study was published Nov. 27 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

SOURCES: Philip Castle, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor, department of epidemiology and population health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Mitchell Kramer, M.D., chair, obstetrics and gynecology, Huntington Hospital, Huntington, N.Y., and assistant professor of medicine, Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.; Nov. 27, 2017, Annals of Internal Medicine

News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles