Cervical cancer screening needs overhaul: 4 key study findings

Despite that 50 percent of cervical cancer deaths and 20 percent of new cervical cancer diagnoses in the UK are made in women ages 65 and over, women over the age of 50 are less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, according to a study published in The British Medical Journal.

Although cervical cancer typically occurs during middle age, 15 percent of cases in the U.S. are in women over 65. 

"We need to change the perception of cervical cancer so it is thought of just like breast and bowel cancer — that it can affect women well into old age," Sue Sherman, PhD, lead author and a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University in the U.K., said in a statement. "This review suggests that older women not getting themselves screened for cervical cancer has become a significant contributor to the number contracting the disease."

Here are four key findings from the study.

Repeated screening for women ages 50 to 65 was found to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

About 60 percent of women ages 50 to 65 were unaware that HPV is a cause of cervical cancer and that the virus could lay dormant following earlier sexual activity.

In 2013, 82 percent of women ages 50 to 54 reported being screened in the past five years, compared with 76 percent of 55 to 59-year-olds and 73 percent of 60 to 64-year-olds.

Researchers concluded that the upper age limit for women with cervical cancer should be revisited.

More articles on infection control:

Caring instead of curing: Recognizing palliative care need before it's too late
$4B: The annual national cost for false-positive mammograms and breast cancer overdiagnoses
Physicians often don't share Alzheimer's diagnosis with patients, study findst share Alzheimer's diagnosis with patients, study finds

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars