[SaneVax: March 12, 2012, the ASCP released new pap screening guidelines. According to Dr. Mark Stoler, past president of ASCP, said, "The Pap test remains among the most effective tools ever devised to prevent cancer and cancer deaths."
Please note the fifth bullet point in the excerpt below. Obviously, Dr. Stoler and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists have never heard the saying, "If its not broke, don't fix it." Or, could it be they have simply become marketing agents for the manufacturers of HPV vaccines?]
To Pap or Not to Pap: What the New Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Mean for Women
Excerpt from a Press Release by the ASCP
New Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Now Available at http://ajcp.ascpjournals.org/.
Following is what women need to know about the new guidelines and recommendations for cervical cancer screening:
- Not until age 21: Women shouldn’t get a Pap test until they’re 21 years old, even if they’ve been sexually active.
- Every three years: Women should have a Pap test once every three years from ages 21 to 29.
- After age 30: After 30, women should have a Pap test combined with testing for HPV every five years. HPV is a virus that can cause cervical cancer. An acceptable alternative is to continue having a Pap test alone every three years.
- Over age 65: Women over 65 should stop getting cervical cancer screening tests altogether, as long as they’ve had at least three consecutive normal Pap tests or two negative HPV tests in the previous 10 years (the most recent in the previous five years), unless they have a history of pre-cancer. In that case, women should continue routine screening for 20 years.
- HPV vaccination isn’t a factor: Whether or not a woman has had the HPV vaccine, she should continue to follow the above recommendations because the vaccine does not protect against all HPV strains that can cause cervical cancer.
- After hysterectomy: If a woman has had a hysterectomy and the cervix was removed, she should not be screened at all, as long as there is no history of pre-cancer.