Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cervical Cancer Test Inconclusive for Women Over 30, Panel Says

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By Adriel Bettelheim - Oct 20, 2011 5:09 AM GMT+0700

A U.S. advisory panel declined to endorse human papillomavirus screening to detect cervical cancer in women old than 30, saying the tests yield inconclusive results.

A draft report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said “more complete evidence is needed” before HPV screening is widely adopted for the age group. The findings update a 2003 agency recommendation that recommended cervical cancer screen in sexually active women.

About 12,700 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, resulting in 4,290 deaths, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection.

The task force is a government supported panel of doctors formed in 1984 to give advice on screening, counseling and preventive medicines based on an impartial assessment of scientific evidence. Recommendations may prompt insurers to change their coverage guidelines.

The task force on Oct. 7 issued draft recommendations against using tests measuring PSA, a protein associated with prostate cancer at high levels.

The panel will take public comment on the cervical cancer guidelines through Nov. 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adriel Bettelheim in Washington at

To contact the editor on this story: Reg Gale at

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