A panel of Canadian specialists has looked at the data and determined new screening guidelines for cervical cancer.
The new recommendations include:
- No routine screening for women under age 25, including sexually active women, as opposed to starting at age 18 especially in sexually active women.
- A strong recommendation for screening women aged 30 to 69 every three years as opposed to every year.
- Ending screening for women aged 70 and over who’ve had three successive negative Pap test results.
Is It Enough?
A Pap test is never a fun way to spend your time, and for the majority of women, the guidelines above are probably a safe bet. But what about the small minority of individuals where it isn’t?
If you read comments on this CBC article, you’ll see feedback from many women who would have been missed had they been following the new guidelines.
Does that mean the guidelines are wrong? No. In a publicly funded health care system there is only so much money to go around. As a result, decisions get made based on greatest impact to an entire population, not on greatest impact for the individual. The result, though, is that people fall through the cracks.
No right answer here, but the good news is at you do have choice. You can read more about how and why we began our Collingwood Well-Woman Visit Days here. Next one is January 28, 2013.