Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
For the past ten years, clinicians throughout the United States have been performing unnecessary Pap tests for cervical cancer screening in certain groups of women, according to a researcher from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. The research results were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine today (November 25th 2013).
"Almost two-thirds (64.5%) of women who have had hysterectomies reported having recent Pap tests," said Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, co-author of the study, a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator, and assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah. "And half (50.4%) of women over 65 who have no cervical cancer history also reported a recent Pap test. This represents 14 million women in the United States receiving an unnecessary procedure."
Because the risk of developing this slow-growing cancer is very small at such a late stage in life, Pap tests do not benefit women over age 65 who have no history of cervical cancer or pre-cancerous conditions. In addition, women who have had hysterectomies do not benefit from the test because nearly all of them no longer have a cervix, the specific target of this cancer screening test.
Since 2003, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended that Pap tests are unnecessary for these two groups of women. The USPSTF is an independent panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine composed of primary care providers (such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists).
The researchers examined data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, an annual health survey of representative samples of the entire United States population since 1957. The 2010 survey included the most recent cancer control supplement, which is included every three to five years.
"We knew there would be overuse of Pap tests, because the few studies of cervical cancer screening showed overuse ten years ago," said Kepka. "But we were shocked to see so little change over the past ten years.
"We're hoping to see better use of the tests over the next decade as changes in the health care infrastructure take place," she added. "Electronic medical records, health care provider reminder systems, decision support, and new strategies to improve the quality of care may promote guideline-consistent practices among clinicians."
Kepka's future work in this area includes a closer look at the demographics of women likely to receive unnecessary Pap tests, and an examination of how this information applies to Utah women.
Overuse of Papanicolaou Testing Among Older Women and Among Women Without a Cervix, Authors: Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH; Nancy Breen, PhD; Jessica B. King, MPH; Vicki B. Benard, PhD; Mona Saraiya, MD, MPH, JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 25, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12607
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Cervical Cancer / HPV Vaccine category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Institute, Huntsman Cancer. "Cervical cancer screening overused in some groups of women." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 27 Nov. 2013. Web.
7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269381>
Institute, H. (2013, November 27). "Cervical cancer screening overused in some groups of women." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269381.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.