No More ‘Annual’ Pap Smears For Many Woman, According to New Guidelines

November 20, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Only days after a federal panel caused controversy after recommending changing the starting age for breast cancer screening for many women from age 50 rather than 40, another organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has done the same for a screening credited with drastically reducing the rates of cervical cancer in the U.S.  The group announced today that women  that women could wait longer between screenings, regardless of when a woman starts having sex. The guidelines instruct that woman should start getting cervical cancer screenings at age 21 instead of 18. Women in their 20s with normal Pap smear results now should get screenings every two years instead of every year, and women in their 30s can wait three years between screenings, according to the new ACOG guidelines.  Prior recommendations called for annual cervical cancer screening to start three years after a women becomes sexually active, or by age 21. The recommendations are based on evidence suggesting more frequent testing can harm a woman’s chances of carrying a child to full term.

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