The news is peppered with new recommendations for medical procedures to be done in stretched out increments lessening the frequency of these procedures. The newest being the frequency of how often women should get a pap-smear. The old recommendations called for them more often and younger in age than what is proposed at present. Tossing out the old recommendations I think without informing the public as to the reasons for the change is making a lot of people skeptical of the intentions of those making these decisions. With healthcare hanging in the balance it is not a good time to start telling women that them and their daughters are going to get less in the way of protection by reducing the guidelines when the risk is at its’ greatest.
The risk of HPV virus in teens and young women is increasing. Those who engage in early sexual activity are particularly at risk, and if the HPV vaccine has not been given to a teen as a preventative measure the risk of developing cancer from the HPV virus is much higher. If a parent or caregiver is fairly sure that the child is not sexually active then the need for a vaccine and early pap-smears is not as necessary. Assuming that these new guidelines are adequate, is in my opinion taking a chance with a womans health that is not necessary.
The HPV virus can stay dormant in a person for many years, although most womens bodies will fight it off. The years between twenty and thirty years of age have the highest incidence of active HPV virus cases, as the person ages it is less likely that the condition will occur. The possible explanation for this being that a more settled and one partner life style has happened. What ever the reason a need for monitoring with a yearly pap-smear is beneficial to those from the teen years to the early thirty’s. During the mid twenties at least every two years not every three.. I have listened to the arguments pro and con on this issue over the past few days, and I know that most people don’t want to be shortchanged when it comes to their health.
It just seems to me, that those who have not had problem pap-smears could be considered for a different schedule after several years of checkups. But to just end it for everyone is not good sense. Doctors get additional information from these pap-smears also, so they give a good road map to a womans health and cancer prevention over all.
Currently most health plans are covering the cost of a once a year test. find out what is Everyone should find out what is covered and what might change in your situation. I don’t understand why we would want to take so many steps forward in regard to developing good health practices, then one day out of nowhere decide to announce that this is no longer needed.
With people living longer, and the risks growing at earlier ages, it is not the time to make recommendations that appear to be offering an increased, not decreased risk factor. At least put up research showing that the new recommendations have been used and no additional risks or increase of cervical cancer have occurred. It this information is available then it should be released and then decisions made after it is understood by those who need these tests the decision is sound.