Variation in Genetic Testing Rates Seen for Patients with Breast Cancer

HPV test is better than Pap smear at detecting precancerous cervical changes study says

Similarly 9,457 women were tested using Pap test and they too returned at 24 and 48 months for a repeat check up to see if they had cervical cancer. Infection with HPV types targeted by the vaccine has declined by almost two-thirds among teenage girls since HPV vaccination was recommended in the United States, according to a study that also found that there was a decrease in HPV infections among women 20 to 24.

'We must also not lose sight of the need to improve attendance of this potentially life-saving tests and ensure women can access it'. Altogether, 17% of the variation in genetic testing rates could be explained by surgeons' practice patterns, the study found. However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which creates guidelines for the diseases people should be screened for and when, still recommends Pap smears every three years for most women with uteruses ages 30 to 65, NPR reports. According to the article, the study compared the HPV test with traditional Pap smear screening among 19,000 Canadian women over 4 years.

Of the women who tested negative on the HPV test, just 22 women showed grade 3 or worse cells, while the Pap smear group, found 52 women ended up with abnormal cells.

Cervical cancer screening is essential because almost 13,000 women in the USA are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually.

Several experts predicted the results would spur efforts to entirely replace the Pap test with the HPV test.

Because health care is a provincial responsibility, it's up to the individual provinces and territories to decide whether to adopt HPV testing instead of Pap testing for cervical cancer screening. At the end of the four years the women were tested using both tests. This method involves the direct analysis of the papillomavirus or HPV of the human that results in ninety-nine percent of the cervical cancers. He said that although the study confirmed previous research showing that the HPV test is more sensitive than the Pap test, it didn't answer a critical question: Is the HPV test alone better than the HPV test and the Pap smear together, as is current practice?

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They also cautioned that more work needs to be done to assess the economic consequences of changing the screening model.

Researchers, led by the University of British Columbia, found that significantly more women showed signs of abnormal cells in the first round of HPV testing compared to the conventional smear tests, despite similar questionnaire responses.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association could change that recommendation.

Women with positive HPV or smear tests had their samples immediately analysed using the other test and then had a colposcopy if results showed both HPV and changes to cells. But last fall, it issued a draft recommendation proposing that women undergo either HPV testing every five years or Pap smears every three years, but a final recommendation has not been released. Still, it seems that more accurate outcome came from the HPV test than from the Pap smear, which could influence decisions in the future.

Because the HPV vaccine that is recommended for adolescents is still limited in its use, testing for the presence of the HPV virus, in general, will continue to be a crucial part of cervical cancer prevention. They can't rely on HPV testing, Schmeler says, because nearly everyone in that age group will contract HPV, and in many cases it goes away on its own.

"At the moment, at most, we may be vaccinating at most 30 to 40 percent of girls". "They usually take up to 10 years to progress to cancers, but the point is if you don't find them, and you don't know how long they've been there, there is a chance that they could progress to the invasive form of cervical cancer".

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