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To Your Health: NLM update Transcript

New cervical cancer guidelines: 11/05/2018

Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health-oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a new cervical cancer screening option for women between ages 30-65 while continuing some prevention recommendations made in 2012 within a report recently published (with an accompanying editorial) in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Task Force periodically reviews its previous prevention recommendations - and only recommends changes if justified by new research evidence.

In its current review, the Task Force recommends women ages 30-65 receive options to screen for cervical cancer during routine checkups. The Task Force recommends women ages 30-65 receive a pap test every three years, and an HPV screening every five years.

However, the Task Force newly recommends a substitute cervical cancer prevention option for women ages 30-65 that co-tests for HPV with an accompanying Pap test every five years.

An editorial that accompanies the study explains (and we quote): 'the (Task Force) has shown a high degree of responsiveness to the concerns of clinicians and patients about cotesting (for HPV and Pap test)' (end of quote).

The Task Force, which is an independent panel of experts supported by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, also maintains its 2012 recommendations that women ages 21-29 receive a pap test every three years. The Task Force continues its previous recommendations against screening women after age 65 for cervical cancer if they were screened earlier in life and are not at a high risk for cervical cancer.

Similarly, the Task Force recommends against cervical cancer screening for women who received a hysterectomy and have no history of a precancerous lesion. Finally, the Task Force recommends against screening women ages 21 or younger for cervical cancer.

The editorial explains cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally.

The editorial's two authors write (and we quote): 'Cervical cancer incidence in the United States has declined substantially over the past half century' (end of quote). The authors add (and we quote): 'the vast majority of deaths (from cervical cancer in the U.S.) will occur among poor women, women from communities of color, non-US-born women, and women living in rural and remote settings' (end of quote).

The editorial's authors conclude (and we quote): 'clinicians have all the tools necessary to make cervical cancer a memory…. Yet this promise will not be realized unless these tools also can be made available to the populations that bear the greatest disease burden from cervical cancer; poor women, women from communities of color, and other women with compromised access to timely and effective care' (end of quote).

Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute provides an overview of cervical cancer screening in the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's cervical cancer screening health topic page. The National Cancer Institute also explains cervical cancer's screening risks within the 'related issues' section of MedlinePlus.gov's cervical cancer screening health topic page.

Links to the latest pertinent journal research articles about cervical cancer screening are available in the 'journal articles' section of MedlinePlus.gov's cervical cancer screening health topic page. Links to relevant clinical trials that may be occurring in your area also are available in the 'clinical trials' section.

To find MedlinePlus.gov's cervical cancer screening health topic page, please type 'cervical cancer screening' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'cervical cancer screening (National Library of Medicine).' MedlinePlus.gov also contains health topic pages on: cervical cancer; HPV; and women's health checkup.

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It was nice to be with you. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!