Cervical Cancer Screening

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OverviewDespite a significant decrease in the incidence and mortality of cervical carcinoma in the United States, an estimated 12,200 women will be diagnosed with the disease in 2010, with 4210 expected deaths.1 High-risk groups include women without access to health care and those who have immigrated to the United States from countries where cervical cancer screening is not routinely performed.2 Because cervical cytology screening is the current method for early detection of this neoplasm, the purpose of these guidelines is to provide direction for the evaluation and management of cervical cytology.These guidelines include recommendations on screening techniques, initiation, and frequency of screening, and management of abnormal screening results including colposcopy. Cervical cytology screening techniques include liquid-based cytology or conventional Papanicolaou (Pap) smears. Unless specifically noted, these techniques are collectively referred to as cervical cytology in this discussion.Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for primary cervical cancer has been approved by the FDA; several diagnostic tests are available (e.g., HPV high-risk and HPV 16/18 DNA tests, Hybrid Capture 2 HPV DNA test). However, HPV DNA testing is not recommended in women younger than 21 years.3 HPV DNA testing for high-risk virus types can also be used as a component of both primary screening and workup of abnormal cytology results; it is not useful to test for low-risk virus types.3 (See HPV DNA Testing on page 1378 for more detail about these tests.)Colposcopy, along with colposcopically directed biopsies, is the primary method for evaluating women with abnormal cervical cytologies....
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