Cervical Cancer Screening
Cervical cancer is the third most common malignancy in women worldwide and is a leading cause of cancer related deaths in developing countries.
Human Papilloma Virus plays an important role in causation of cervical cancer.
Hence it is recommended to include HPV testing in the screening regimen in women aged 30-65 years.
Guidelines for Screening for cervical cancer:
- Screening should begin for all women at the age of 21.
- Pap test for all women aged 21 to 29 yrs, which is to be repeated every3 years. HPV testing is recommended only in case of an abnormal Pap test result.
- Pap test and HPV testing for all women aged 30-65 yrs, to be repeated every 5 yrs, or Pap test alone every 3 yrs.
- Screening is not indicated for women over 65 yrs of age who have undergone regular screening with normal results.
- Screening tests are not advised for women who have undergone hysterectomy, and do not have a history of cervical cancer or pre cancer.
- Women with high risk for cervical cancer like those with HIV infection, organ transplant or those who are exposed to the drug DES (di Ethyl Stilbestrol).are advised screening more frequently.
Advantages of screening:
- Cancer can be detected in early stages where in treatment becomes easy.
- Cancer related deaths are also reduced.
- Screening may prevent cancer from ever developing.