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Women's Health Watch

Cervical Cancer Risk Doubles with Longer Screening Intervals

Published Online: Saturday, March 1, 2003   [ Request Print ]

A woman?s relative risk of invasive cervical cancer doubles if she is screened at 2- or 3-year intervals after her last negative cervical smear, rather than at 1-year intervals, according to a case-control study published recently in Obstetrics and Gynecology. No significant difference was found between a 2- or a 3-year screening interval. Although a woman?s absolute risk for developing cervical cancer remains low, the researchers noted that these findings are important for policymakers to consider when evaluating the costs and impact of a decrease in screening frequency. The findings are based on data from 1466 women in the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization in northern California.
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