December 7, 2018 – Cervical Screening


Anchor lead: New guidelines on screening for cervical cancer have been released, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Cervical cancer screening is a success story in the United States, with cancers detected early and more widespread disease largely avoided. Now the United States Preventive Services Task Force has updated the guidelines for screening. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes them.

Nelson: The United States Preventive Services Task Force has given an A rating to the idea of doing Pap smear screening between the ages of 21 and 65 or doing a combination of Pap smear screening and swabbing the cervix testing for human papilloma virus  between the ages of 30 and 65.  They’re biased a little bit against HPV  before that age as it’s suspicious because there’s a lot of infections that are ultimately cleared that you would detect. They’re a little down on testing above that age.  :29

Nelson notes that the majority of cervical cancer can be prevented with widespread use of the vaccine against human papilloma virus, which would eliminate the need for frequent screening, and would also curtail much mouth and throat cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.