Two medical organizations recommend, with FDA’s endorsement, that women first get tested with the human papillomavirus (HPV) screening before the Pap smear or Papanicolau test. But the major medical associations are not in favor of the new guidelines.
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology said in a recent common statement that that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test is very effective in spotting cervical cancer.
The wellbeing associations likewise contend that this screening can supplant the cervical cancer test based on cytology, currently used in the U.S. According to the joint guidance report both types of screenings have advantages and disadvantages but the HPV test should be the first option when diagnosing cervical cancer. The document also advises women to start basic HPV screening when they reach the age of 25. Younger women should continue to opt for the Pap test.
Right now, testing for both HPV test and the Pap test is carried out in a similar way. Cervix and vagina cells are scraped and tested in laboratories. While the Pap smear only reveals if pre-cancerous cells are present, the HPV test checks to see if the virus is within the genital apparatus.
A research released last summer suggested that HPV test is test is more exact than the Pap smear at diagnosing cervical cancer. The likelihood of women developing cancer in the cervix three years after testing negative on HVP is lower than when testing negative with Pap smear.
The two well-known women’s health organizations got an FDA permission to use HPV test as a primary screening option. The government health agency officially endorsed it as a basic test for cervical cancer screening. The support of US Food and Drug Administration does propose to enforce the HPV test as a primary screening method in the U.S.
But there are also voices against the new primary screening method. One of them is the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG). According to the organization which is also the greatest ob-gyn group in the U.S., ladies should still only take the Pap smear test. Nevertheless, it is also possible to combine the two screening methods.
Warner K. Huh MD, a scientist at University of Alabama says that HPV screening is rather sensitive. It depends on follow-up assessment procedures and consistent screening.
The detailed study is available in the printed version of the 7th January’s edition of Journal Gynecologic Oncology.
As indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, roughly 12,000 American ladies had cervical cancer and for about 4,000 of them this was the cause of death. The HPV is considered the main risk factor behind 91% of cervical cancers.
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