Archive for November, 2009

LESS FREQUENT PAP TESTS MAY BE GOOD NEWS FOR MOST WOMEN

Friday, November 20th, 2009

After the recent controversy over new breast cancer screening guidelines, the recommendations issued today by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to do fewer Pap tests may seem like another blow to women’s health. But the truth is, it isn’t.


The leading experts and gynecologists who care for women recommend the following:

1)      All women should begin receiving a Pap test at age 21.

2)      Women ages 21 to 30 should have a Pap test every other year.

3)      Women ages 30 and over should have a Pap test (with the addition of an HPV test done at the same time as an option) every three years.

YEARLY MAMMOGRAMS UNDERGO SCRUTINY

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Screening tests for early detection of cancer have undergone a lot of scrutiny lately. Just a few weeks ago the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued a press release reminding us that the Cancer Society may have overstated the benefits of screening and underemphasized the potential harm when it came to testing for early breast and prostate cancer. They went on to discuss the limitations of screening women for early breast cancer with mammograms and screening men for prostate cancer with the simple PSA blood test. This week, the United States Preventive Task Force (USPTF) has issued new guidelines for breast cancer screening. I suspect that explains why the ACS issued their recent comments, knowing these guidelines were about to be released.  

THE CONFUSING TRUTH BEHIND THE PAP TEST

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Ever since the American Cancer Society’s announcement last week that breast and prostate screening tests may not be all that they are cracked up to be, women have been more confused than ever about the benefits of common tests for early cancer detection. Many experts spoke out emphasizing the importance of early detection of cancer through screening tests and the Pap test to detect cervical cancer early was once again described as the gold standard.