The number of women getting annual Pap smears to find cervical cancer is dropping. In Michigan, 80 percent got the yearly test in 2008, down from 86.5 percent in 2004, according to the latest figures available from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Richard Gajdowski, medical director for United Healthcare of Michigan, says women may not know:
» They have a higher risk of cervical cancer if they smoke, have a diet low in fruits and vegetables, take birth control pills for more than five years, have had more than three full-term pregnancies, or have HIV or a Chlamydia infection.
(Note from SaneVax: This is exactly the risk we are concerned about with people feeling complacent and protected after receiving HPV vaccines. We are not the only ones concerned. Dr. Diane Harper, one of the lead researchers involved in the development of Gardasil has expressed the same concern.)