Are Women Utilizing Cervical Cancer Tests?
A recent study evaluated the question 'how often is cervical cancer screening tests overused in women with average risk in the United States?
While cervical cancer screening with cytologic and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing has reduced mortality from cervical cancer, overuse of these tests is associated with downstream psychological and medical consequences, as well as high costs.
In this cohort study of 2,299,177 commercially insured women aged 30 to 65 who underwent cervical cancer screening in 2013 through 2014, about 64% underwent repeat testing within 36 months of index testing.
After the index screening test, women who did not undergo repeat screening were significantly less likely to undergo a gynecological exam.
In summary, these researchers said, 'These findings suggest that despite evidence-based guidelines, overuse of cervical cancer screening tests was common.'
The 2012 American Cancer Society guidelines for cervical cancer screening recommend using cytologic screening every 3 years or co-testing with HPV and cytologic testing every 5 years in women aged 30 to 65 years. More recently, guidelines have been updated to advocate for primary HPV testing every 5 years as the preferred approach to screening in all women aged 25 to 65.