It has become a standard, routine test for women over the age of 21 to be screened for cervical cancer using the Pap Test during their annual exam. The reason behind the test is to detect cancers of the cervix or other abnormalities related to cancers of the cervix. However The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other leading U.S cancer groups have now suggested that the test be given every two years. The new guidelines are based on the fact that the ACOG suggests that women are often subject to false positive results and that females under the age of 21 are likely to have results that are not related to cervical cancer and that these conditions will go away on their own.
According to the new ACOG guidelines, women aged 21 to 30 years should be screened every two years using either the standard Pap test or liquid-based cytology. In addition to the yearly guidelines, leading U.S. cancer groups suggest that women 30 years and older who have had three consecutive negative (i.e., normal) cervical cytology test results may be screened once every three years with either screening test. They also suggest that women older than 30 years should also be co-screened with a combination of the Pap test and a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test; if they receive negative results on both tests they do not need to be re-screened for at least three years. These guidelines also note that women with certain risk factors may need more frequent screening. These risk factors include being infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), being immunosuppressed, having been exposed to diethylstilbestrol before birth, and having been treated for certain cervical abnormalities or cancer. These guidlThese Theses These guidleines
The new guidelines are facing scrutiny from medical professionals and patients alike who believe eartly detection is still the best protection against illnesses such as cervical cancer. It's estimated that nearly 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually and approximately 4,000 die from the disease. Some site the test as the reason for the decrease in cervical cancer deaths in women. Many U.S. medical professionals fear that the delay in detection will result in more deaths from cervical cancer and fear that the new guidelines will "mess with the success" they're having currently. Dr. Renae Fried says the tests are useful and can contribute to more positive results. "My feeling is that if women (over the age of 21) aren't genetically pre-disposed to cervical cancer, regular exams are still necessary," she believes. She also notes that young men and women should be tested for the HPV virus, because they might not be diagnosed otherwise. "We would love to think as parents that we know when our kids are sexually active but the truth is they should be tested by the age of ten and vaccinated for the virus for their own sake," she recommends.
Source: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/Pap-test#a6 ,http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/story/2011-10-20/Cancer-groups-release-cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines/50837474/1