Getting Cancer Screened

Cervical cancer risks can be treated but continued screening is still necessary

(RxWiki News) Cervical cancer is a great example of something that can be prevented with regular screening. Early, mild to severe abnormal cells on the cervix can be easily detected and treated.

A recent study looked at Pap smear tests for 38,956 women who had been treated for abnormal cells on their cervix.

The study’s findings showed that these women are at a higher risk for recurrence than women without abnormal cells.

"Get regular screening for cervical cancer."

Matejka Rebolj, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, led the team of researchers.

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, or cervical dysplasia, happens when the squamous cells on the cervix grow in an abnormal way that can turn cancerous.

Cervical cancer screening tests, such as a Pap smear test, can detect cervical dysplasia.

For this study, 38,956 women who had been treated for cervical dysplasia between 1994-2006 were given Pap smear tests 6, 12 and 24 months after treatment for check for reoccurrence.

Women with grades 1-3 cervical dysplasia, which are mild, moderate and severe, were included in the study.

After calculating the odds based on all three testing results, researchers determined women with previous cervical dysplasia were four times more likely to have another incidence of cervical dysplasia.

Even after having three normal Pap smear tests in a row after treatment, these women were four times more likely to have cervical dysplasia at some point in their lives.

The result did not vary much based on age or grade of cervical dysplasia before treatment.

Regular and continued screening for cervical dysplasia was recommended.

This study was published in November in the British Medical Journal.

Funding for the research was provided by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

No conflicts of interest were reported.

Review Date: 
November 2, 2012