Archive for Friday, November 20, 2009

Report: Women can do with fewer Pap tests

November 20, 2009


— Women can delay having their first Pap test for cervical cancer until they turn 21 and many can wait longer to go back for follow-up screenings, according to new guidelines released today by a major medical group.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommended the change after concluding that more frequent testing did not catch significantly more cancers and often resulted in girls and young women experiencing unnecessary stress, anxiety and sometimes harmful treatments because of suspicious growths that would not cause problems.

“We really felt that the downsides of more frequent screening outweighed any benefits,” said Alan Waxman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico who led the revision of the guidelines. “More testing is not always more intelligent testing.”


Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Update: Senate Joins House in Attacking Women's Access to Abortion Care

About the disastrous anti-abortion provision in the House health care reform bill.

The Senate version of the health care bill, released last night, purports to be less harsh, but make no mistake: the anti-abortion provisions of this bill are harmful to women.

What's worse, we know there will be an attempt to amend the Senate bill to go all the way with a provision mirroring the House's Stupak-Pitts Amendment.

We are pulling out all the stops to prevent Stupak-like language from being added to the Senate bill.

NOW chapters around the country are rallying and demonstrating, phoning, writing and emailing their Senators. Our message is simple: keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible to every woman. Anti-abortion measures have no place in health care reform!

We need your support now before these harmful anti-abortion provisions are allowed to be passed in the name of health care reform.

For justice and equality,

Terry Terry O'Neill NOW President

======================================== PFAW staff join NARAL President Nancy Keenan and staff outside of the U.S. Capitol before delivering more than 97,000 petition signatures to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

How is it possible that just one year after America made huge progressive strides -- electing our first African American president and achieving sizable Democratic majorities in Congress -- a woman's fundamental right to choose is negotiable?

I am as angry as anyone about this latest attack on Choice. The Stupak-Pitts amendment in the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives virtually bans all coverage for abortion services in the new health care system.

Millions of women, even women who pay for private insurance plans with their own money, would lose their reproductive health coverage. It's the most aggressive attack on Choice we've seen in a generation -- and it's imperative that we stop it.

That's why I want to thank all of you who signed PFAW's petition to Senate Majority Leader Reid urging him to stop the Stupak-Pitts House amendment from being part of the Senate health care bill.

Yesterday, PFAW joined NARAL Pro-Choice America and other allies to deliver more than 97,000 petition signatures to Sen. Reid's staff.

I plan on doing my part to help People For the American Way fight this right-wing attack on women's rights.

It's unconscionable that of the House members who voted to take away reproductive health care coverage for women in the new system, 25 of them were considered firmly "pro-choice."

Now it's our job to call those people out and stop any similar defections in the Senate. With your help, we'll send the message to Senators loud and clear -- that the right to choose is a fundamental human right and must not be up for compromise.

We have the power to preserve Choice.

Kathleen Turner, PFAW Supporter and PFAW Foundation Board Member

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Safe practices in medical procedures is the most important concern no matter what.

I suggest instead National Health Insurance and drop the attack on women.

National Health Insurance is STILL the most fiscal responsible approach and does offer any attacks on women. Women are important people.

There is no proposal that has come out of DC in the past week that can provide such wonderful care at a cost of $2200-$2700 a year for a family.

Such as:

long term care such that cancer demands prescription drugs hospital surgical outpatient services primary and preventive care emergency services dental mental health home health physical therapy rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) vision care hearing services including hearing aids chiropractic durable medical equipment palliative care long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 annually for all health care costs with National Health Insurance.

National Health Insurance ends deductibles and co-payments. National Health Insurance would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

National Health Insurance for All

monkeyhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Very suspicious timing on the newest recommendations for paps and mammograms. I thought that the attack via health control was going to be primarily aimed at the older folks, but now it is apparent that women are also targeted. Maybe that's why Mr. O did not bow to the queen.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 7 months ago

Worth repeating: What's the difference between HR 676 and a peach pit lodged in a mandrill's bowels? The peach pit has a chance of being passed.

jmadison 8 years, 7 months ago

Obamacare has two additional goals besides the government takeover of healthcare. 1. Cut care and thus reduce costs. 2. Less care for medicare patients, thus reducing the cost and also reducing the number of people drawing Social Security.

9070811 8 years, 7 months ago

As someone who supports health care reform and a public option I am deeply concerned about these new recommendations. They really do seem to suggest that health care will be limited or are taking measures to make sure that are not overwhelmed. PAP every year are essential. They don't just check for cervical cancer. They are sexually transmitted infection tests too. PAP smears are encouraged by most doctors, mine certainly does. While there are other ways to be tests for sexual infections, the procedure of a PAP is the most effective. My conclusion is that less women will seek STD tests if they're not recommended to have a PAP once a year. Waiting till a woman is 21 is outrageous, considering that so many teens have sex.

The whole idea, or at least humanist perspective, "of health care for all" is so all people have access to tests such as these.

acg 8 years, 7 months ago

How can this even be right? With so many young girls at risk for HPV, a major STD, and one of the main risks for cervical cancer, you're going to say they don't need the screen until 21? What a crock of crap. Is it that the girls don't need the tests or that the health insurance companies don't want to shell out for those yearly doc visits and exam costs? When more girls end up with cervical cancer, displasial cells or other std related illnesses, I'm sure the costs of treating these is going to be much higher in the end. This makes no sense to me. No one is in charge. It's not even a dem. vs. repub. thing anymore. You guys have to all admit it. Bush effed it up, badly! Obama, god bless him I voted for him and prayed he had some answers, seems overwhelmed to say the least. All of these morons up there at capitol hill have our money people! And they're screwing it all up. No one is in charge. No one has any idea of what's going on and how to fix it. It's now such a clusterf**k that I don't think it can be fixed anymore. These are supposed to be our best and brightest right? What a freaking joke! I don't think I can handle much more of this, personally. I may end up rupturing something soon.

acg 8 years, 7 months ago

U mean that gardisil stuff, right dresden? Lol. Don't even get me started on their shots and vaccines. There's no way in hell I'm marching my daughter up there to get their experimental crap. These people can't even balance a budget or agree on anything and we're going to let them be involved in our medical care? Pbsh! I'll be damned...

Christine Anderson 8 years, 7 months ago

I am extremely upset with this! Any woman (or teenage girl) who is sexually active must, and I repeat must, have yearly pap and pelvic exams. The technology used to interpret pap results has improved over the years, and can now catch abnormalities while something can still be done about it. Women, we have got to start making very, very loud noise over this, and the new mammogram guidelines! Dysplasias, the three types of HPV which can become cervical cancer, and the old standby STD's are just some of the problems which can be detected.

denak 8 years, 7 months ago

I realize that I am the minority voice on here but statistically speaking, women under the age of 30 are less likely to get cervical cancer than a woman over the age of 30. Even if a woman under the age of 30 has HPV, the likelihood of it developing into cervical cancer is relatively rare and the HPV infection will often times go away or the body supresses it so that abnormal cells will not develop.

Also, the digene HPV test is more accurate for screening than the Pap test. The guidelines I have seen suggest that if a young woman(under 30) has a clean digene HPV test, then she does not necessarily have to have a Pap again for almost 3 years.

Of course, with any kind of test, if one has a family history of a certain disease whether it is cervical cancer, diabetes, or heart issues, the person should follow the guidelines for someone with a family history of that disease.

However, if a young woman is under 30 and she has an annual Pap and it comes up good, then she doesn't necessarily need another one the next year. That is all the guidelines are saying.


monkey_c 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we should all just jerk our uteri and etc. out and throw them at Brownback. He assumes he can rule them anyway. Let's just give it to him. I would love to toss one at him eeeewwwweeeeeeee. Yuck. I would hate to have a uteri thrown at me.

kmat 8 years, 7 months ago

Denak is the voice of reason on here.

And, they've been saying to have a PAP every three years for a while now. That's been my doctor's advice for at least a couple of years and my BCBS will only pay for one every three years, unless there is reason to suspect there is a problem.

kmat 8 years, 7 months ago

barrypenders (Anonymous) says…

One should pay for their own dilation and curettages merril.

Interesting you would say that. Do you realize that until it was pointed out earlier this month that the health insurance provided for employees of the RNC covered abortions? Hypocrits!!!!! They wanted abortion coverage until they got called out on it. They had the option to buy insurance that covered abortions or that didn't cover abortions and they opted to pay for their employees and their spouses to have abortions (paid for by you members of the RNC). They just now, after 17 years of having abortions paid for their employees, cancel the coverage once dems pointed out what hypocrits the party was.

It would be really interesting to see how many RNC employees had abortions during those 17 years.

Anyone that was a member of the RNC and voted republican during that time frame supported abortion. If you donated money to the RNC, you helped pay for coverage of abortions.


gphawk89 8 years, 7 months ago

"Is it that the girls don't need the tests or that the health insurance companies don't want to shell out for those yearly doc visits and exam costs?"

Neither. It's that the government doesn't want to be on the hook to provide the same services that private insurance companies have been for decades. Between last week's mammogram recommendations and now this, can it be any more obvious?

babyjontheway 8 years, 7 months ago

I just want to say these new guidelines would have killed me. On aug. 8th 2002 I was dignosed with pre cancer on my cervix I had just turned 20 and was newly married, by December it had progressed to cancer. I wasn't even 21 yet, if I would have waited it would have spread to other areas and I would have possibly died. i don't get it, prevenitive measures are better than paying for hard core Chemo and radiation, not to mention a funeral. The goverment needs to wake up, I am outraged.

vinividivici 8 years, 7 months ago

I've always thought that annual pap smears seemed a little excessive. Then again, I think annual physicals are too. It should be up to the individual to know their body well enough to recognize something has changed and have the responsibility to make an appointment.

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

"There is no proposal that has come out of DC in the past week that can provide such wonderful care at a cost of $2200-$2700 a year for a family."

There's no proposal that's come out of anywhere except that pipe you've been hitting that can do that either, mertle.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.