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article imageMillions of U.S. women not screened for cervical cancer

By Tim Sandle     Nov 10, 2014 in Health
Although cervical cancer screening saves lives, about eight million women ages 21 to 65 years have not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years. This is according to a study from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This issue is important because over half of new cervical cancer cases occur among women who have never or rarely been screened. Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. However, without screening then the risks increase substantially. In the U.S., more than 4,000 women die of cervical cancer each year. It also stands that more than fifty percent of all new cervical cancers are in women who have never been screened or have not been screened in the previous 5 years of their lives.
The smear test looks for two cancer risks:
The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirushuman papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.
Commenting on the millions of unscreened women, CDC Principal Deputy Director Ileana Arias said: “Every visit to a provider can be an opportunity to prevent cervical cancer by making sure women are referred for screening appropriately. We must increase our efforts to make sure that all women understand the importance of getting screened for cervical cancer. No woman should die from cervical cancer.”
To arrive at the current figures, CDC researchers examined information collated from the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to determine women who had not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years.
More about Cervical cancer, Women, Screening, Cancer, Virus
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