Study: Doctors Overtest For Cervix Cancer

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ATLANTA, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Most U.S. doctors still urge women to get tested every year for cervical cancer even though guidelines say many do not need them, a study says.

Katherine Roland of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said data she studied from 2006 suggest a majority of doctors recommend annual Pap smears, USA Today reported. Her report was published Aug. 18 in the online edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Guidelines adopted in 2002 by the American Cancer Society and a year later by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists call for testing at age 30. Both groups say women should have the Pap test or smear, which screens cells from the cervix for signs of cancer, and a test for the human papillomavirus, which has been linked to cancer.

If the tests are negative, women younger than 60 can wait three years, the guidelines say.

Roland said she found many doctors do not include the HPV test. But even those who do tend to recommend annual screening.

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