January 10, 2019

Too few women are getting cervical cancer screening

By Karl W Oestreich

HealthDay
by Robert Preidt

The number of women in the United States who are getting the recommended screenings for cervical cancer is "unacceptably low," researchers say. In 2016, just over half of U.S. women aged 21 to 29 and less than two-thirds of women aged 30 to 65 were up-to-date with cervical cancer Health Day Logoscreenings, according to a new report. Those rates are well below the 81 percent self-reported rate in the 2015 U.S. National Health Interview Survey, said study author Dr. Kathy MacLaughlin, and her colleagues. MacLaughlin is a family medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. "Routine screening every three years with a Pap test or every five years with a Pap-HPV co-test [the current guidelines for average-risk women] ensures precancerous changes are caught early and may be followed more closely or treated," MacLaughlin explained in a Mayo Clinic news release.

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Context: The percentage of women who are screened for cervical cancer may be far lower than national data suggests, according to a Mayo Clinic study recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health. Less than two-thirds of women ages 30 to 65 were up-to-date with cervical cancer screenings in 2016. The percentage is even lower for women ages 21 to 29, with just over half current on screenings. Those figures are well below the 81 percent screening compliance rate self-reported in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey. “These cervical cancer rates are unacceptably low,” says Mayo Clinic family medicine specialist Kathy MacLaughlin, M.D., the study’s lead author. “Routine screening every three years with a Pap test or every five years with a Pap-HPV co-test ensures precancerous changes are caught early and may be followed more closely or treated.”  You can read more about the study on Mayo Clinic News Network.

Contact: Heather Carlson

Tags: 2015 National Health Interview Survey, cervical cancer screening, Dr. Kathy MacLaughlin, HealthDay, Pap test, Pap-HPV co-test, Rochester Epidemiology Project, Uncategorized

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