Review calls for urgent change to perception of cervical cancer risk in older women

Cervical cancer is not just a young woman’s disease…

pap-test
Pap tests are currently recommended for all women aged 21-65 though the authors of the review question whether screening should stop there. Routine Pap image by Ed Uthman.

Cervical screening programmes in many countries stop at around the age of 65 and much of the focus is often on younger women. For example, recent media campaigns in England and Wales have centred on lowering the age at first screening. Comparatively little attention has been given to older women despite the fact that they account for about a fifth of cases each year and half of deaths. Of the 3121 women diagnosed on average each year between 2009 and 2011 in the UK, only 64 were younger than 25 compared with 616 who were older than 65. As the population ages, this number of older women affected is set to increase. Susan Sherman and colleagues argue that screening programmes should reflect this.

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Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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