Pap Smear Frequency Recommendations Updated in USA

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Routine screening for cervical cancer substantially reduces disease incidence and mortality for average-risk women ages 21 to 65, and the benefits outweigh the harms, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded in a final guidance statement on the issue. For women aged 30 to 65, the USPSTF recommends screening via a Pap smear every 3 years, or HPV (human papillomavirus) testing every 5 years or with both tests, also every 5 years.

In the past, the recommendations for women in that age group had suggested a Pap every three years and co-testing every five years.

But now experts say the screening of choice may be an HPV test - the HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus-a virus that is a trigger for nearly all cases of cervical cancer.

Women's health diagnostic testing market is segmented into following types: By Application Type: Cancer Screening, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer; Osteoporosis: Pregnancy test, Prenatal test, Infections, STD test, Gynecological test, Others; By End User: Hospitals, Clinics, Gynecology & Obstetrics Clinics, Orthopedic Clinics, Diagnostic Laboratories, Cancer diagnostic centers, Pathology Laboratories, Radiology Centers, Cancer Institutes. However, Pap and HPV tests do not check for early signs of other cancers or sexually transmitted diseases, specialists warn, so women should continue to visit their health care practitioners on a regular basis.

The group, composed of primary care physicians and epidemiologists, previously recommended that women receive pap tests or a combination of a pap test and an HPV test. And the USPSTF now says the evidence is strong enough that HPV tests can be used by themselves, for women over 30.

She said the guidelines may make it easier for women in areas with fewer doctors or clinics to get tested. While co-testing is still preferable, the new standards mean women can avoid harm caused by having too frequent screenings, such as unnecessary biopsies and follow-up appointments. And if women were screened with the Pap test alone, the rate of death was higher - about 76 deaths per 100,000 women.

"It is not like you get HPV and then you get cancer", Schmeler said. North America is the largest regional market owing to high patient awareness levels regarding various diagnostic testing procedures for women, increasing healthcare expenditure, reimbursement options and relatively larger number of R&D exercises pertaining new product launch and marketing etc. these factors contribute for significant revenue generation for diagnostic testing devices from the region.

The Shares and Demand for Pap Tests and HPV Tests industry is unexpected to be high for the next six years.

The vast majority of those deaths will be "among poor women, women from communities of color, non-US-born women, and women living in rural and remote settings", who also have little access to preventive care, Learman and Garcia wrote.

Health officials also recommend the HPV vaccine, which is given to girls and young women, up to age 26.

Over time, as more people get a relatively new vaccine to prevent HPV, women may need cervical cancer screening even less often, Learman, of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, said by email.

The author of a second editorial appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine noted that the USPSTF did not include cost-effectiveness in the review that led to the recommendations.

HPV can cause cell changes in the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer.

"We know there are disparities in screening", Owens says.

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