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Friday, November 20, 2009

New pap smear guidelines!

Well, after recent controversial news that cancer screenings may not be as beneficial as originally thought, several physicians' groups are amending their guidelines. First we had an uproar about delaying mammograms until women are in their 50's (poor timing to make that announcement during October, breast cancer awareness month). Now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has released new pap smear guidelines. The new guidelines recommend pap smears starting at a later age (21) and repeating just every 2 years - and only every 3 years once you hit your thirties.
To me that's great news...since I never go anyway (I know, I know). However, I bet it affects your health insurance. Watch them drop once-yearly-well-woman-visit coverage. They'll start only paying every 3 years!
The reasoning behind this change is that very few cases of cervical cancer are caught by pap smears. This - and the delaying of mammography - is sparking a debate about the value of life. Should we reduce screenings because the cost-per-life-saved is too high?

What's your view???


  1. I think this is absolute bull. Mammograms later and pap smears not as often? How about they just say it's not worth early detection anymore? Ugh, this makes me so angry!

  2. Yes, basically that's the argument! Unfortunately so much of health care is cost-driven. I only hope the pap smear changes are based on a projected decrease in cancer cases due to HPV vaccines. Somehow I doubt it though!