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Screening Under-25s May Not Cut Cervical Cancer Rates

-- Jane Parry

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Screening women aged 20 to 24 for cervical cancer has little impact on rates of invasive cancer up to age 30, according to a study published online July 28 in BMJ, while another study concludes that women with persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection are at increased risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

Peter Sasieni, Ph.D., and colleagues at Queen Mary University of London conducted a study of 4,012 women aged 20 to 69 diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, matching each case with two controls based on age and area of residence, and found that while screening women over the age of 40 reduced incidence of cervical cancer by 60 percent, screening women between the ages of 20 and 24 did not reduce the incidence of cervical cancer at ages 25 to 29.

Philip E. Castle, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues conducted a study of 2,282 sexually active women and found that those who tested positive at baseline and after nine to 21 months for a carcinogenic HPV had a 17 percent three-year cumulative incidence rate of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II+, whereas those with at least one negative test were at much lower risk.

"A validated method of HPV genotyping might allow clinically useful monitoring of HPV 16 and perhaps HPV 18, beginning at age 25 when the risk of precancer becomes non-trivial. For women between the ages of 25 to 30, it will be especially important for clinicians to wait for evidence of persistence rather than act on the first positive test for HPV 16 and 18," Castle and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Sasieni
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Abstract - Castle
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Editorial

Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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