By Marilynn Marchione, AP Medical Writer
Two big studies suggest possible new ways to screen healthy people for cervical or prostate cancers, but a third disappointed those hoping for a way to detect early signs of deadly ovarian tumors.
_For women 30 and over, a test for the virus, HPV, is better than a Pap smear for predicting cervical cancer risk, and those who test negative on both can safely wait three years to be screened again.
_A single PSA blood test at ages 44 to 50 might help predict a man’s risk of developing advanced prostate cancer or dying of it up to 30 years later. The PSA test is notoriously unreliable, but using it this way separates men who need a close watch from those who are so low-risk that they can skip testing for five years or more.
[Note from SaneVax: It is our opinion that HPV testing may be a wonderful complimentary screening method for cervical cancer, but only if this HPV testing includes DNA sequencing. Without DNA sequencing, both FDA approved HPV tests that are currently available for medical consumers are documented to produce 25% or higher rate of false positive results. This could potentially lead to even more unnecessary cervical biopsies for women. Biopsies are not without risk. Infection and/or fertility problems may be a result of biopsies. Female medical consumers need the most accurate testing available – we implore the FDA to approve an HPV test that includes DNA sequencing.]