New Pap Screening Guidelines
January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and a good time to review the Pap screening guidelines for this disease. According to Bunja Rungruang, MD
, a gyn oncologist at Georgia Regents University Cancer Center
, those guidelines were updated in March 2012 by the U.S. Preventive Task Force with the support of the American Cancer Society. “The new guidelines reduce the number of Pap tests women should have over their lifetimes. They preserve the benefits of testing while minimizing risks,” Dr. Rungruang says.
Fewer, Less Frequent Screenings
Since it can take more than a decade for cervical cancer to develop, the guidelines recommend:
- Women ages 21–29 have a Pap test every three years. Women under age 21 do not need screenings.
- Women age 30-65 should have a Pap test every three years or a Pap test with HPV screening, known as co-testing, every five years.
- Screening is not recommended for women over age 65 who have had regular screenings with normal results.
- Women with certain risk factors may need to have more frequent screenings or to continue screening beyond age 65.
- Women who have received the HPV vaccine still need to follow the screening guidelines.
“Talk to your gynecologist about your screening schedule,” says Dr. Rungruang.
Robotic GYN Cancer Surgeries: Smaller Incisions, Shorter Recoveries
When gyn cancers strike, women deserve the latest, least invasive surgical solutions. That is often robotic surgery. Robotic technology offers surgeons clearer 3-D visualization and superior tools that allow for more precise, tremor-free surgeries.
- Shorten hospital stays and speed recovery
- Reduce blood loss, scarring and pain
- Reduce the risk of infection
- Help prevent the need for further surgeries