The recommendations for when to have a Pap smear for cervical cancer have changed, the scientific basis seems solid but the interpretation of this change can have negative repercussions. The most important thing is do not stop having a Pap test. Early detection cures. At VidaySalud we tell you what the changes are .
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology indicated this week that most women between the ages of 20 and 30 can have a Pap test every two years instead of annually.
He also says that this study should be done for the first time at 21 years of age. Before the College recommended that the first study be made three years after the first sexual relationship or 18 years.
And that women from the age of 30 who have three consecutive normal tests, should have a Pap smear every three years.
That those who have had a total hysterectomy and have removed their cervix, do not need to have a Pap test.
And that women from 65 to 70 years who have had 3 consecutive normal exams and have not had abnormalities in the Pap for 10 years can stop doing the study.
In an ideal world this works, but in the world in which we live in which women, especially in our community, are not being screened, the message they hear may be that they do not need a Pap smear, or they can be wait even more. And these recommendations in a cancer that could be cured, which in itself is being diagnosed in more advanced stages among Hispanics and whose mortality is higher in our community, could worsen the situation.
I think that if we are going to save money on detection we have to invest in an intense education campaign and in giving vaccines for the prevention of cervical cancer that we know is largely caused by sexual transmission through the Human Papillomavirus. .