Not many women are getting screened for cervical cancer: Study

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Getting a regular checkup is often advised by doctors, however, a report published in the Journal of Women’s Health, as quoted by Bustle, states that not a lot of women get screened for cervical cancer. In 2016, less than two-thirds of women, within the age group 30 to 65 got screened. The numbers are lower when it comes to women within the age group of 21 to 29.

“These cervical cancer rates are unacceptably low,” Kathy MacLaughlin, MD, lead author of the study and Mayo Clinic family medicine specialist, said in the press release. “Routine screening every three years with a Pap test or every five years with a Pap-HPV co-test ensures precancerous changes are caught early and may be followed more closely or treated.”

The researchers at Mayo Clinic have also identified racial disparities as a possible reason with regard to those who get screened for cervical cancer and those who don’t. “African-American women were 50 per cent less likely to be up-to-date on cervical cancer screening than white woman in 2016. Asian women were nearly 30 per cent less likely than white women to be current on screening. These racial disparities are especially concerning,” MacLaughlin said. Factors like dearth of proper medical care supposedly contribute to the problem.

Researchers wrote in the study that in 2012, cervical cancer screening recommendations were updated and for women within the age group of 21 to 65, Pap smears were advised every few years. And for those within the age group 30 to 65 Pap/Human papillomavirus (HPV) co-testing was suggested every five years.