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Now It’s 2 Years Between Pap Smears

From an unfazed Associated Press:

Report: 20-somethings can go 2 years between Paps

By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

November 20, 2009

WASHINGTON – First mammograms. Now — in an apparent coincidence — Pap smears.

New guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say most women in their 20s can have a Pap smear every two years instead of annually to catch slow-growing cervical cancer.

The change comes amid a separate debate over when regular mammograms to detect breast cancer should begin. The timing of the Pap guidelines is coincidence, said ACOG, which began reviewing its recommendations in late 2007 and published the update Friday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The guidelines also say:

– Routine Paps should start at age 21. Previously, ACOG had urged a first Pap either within three years of first sexual intercourse or at age 21.

– Women 30 and older should wait three years between Paps once they’ve had three consecutive clear tests. Other national guidelines have long recommended the three-year interval; ACOG had previously backed a two- to three-year wait

Paps can spot pre-cancerous changes in the cervix in time to prevent invasive cancer, and widespread use has halved cervical cancer rates in the U.S. in recent decades. About 11,270 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and about 4,070 women will die from it, according to American Cancer Society estimates.

Half of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have never had a Pap, and another 10 percent haven’t had one in five years

First they came for the mammograms, but because I didn’t need a mammogram…

Well, as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, this is undoubtedly just a coincidence.

There couldn’t possibly be a concerted effort on the part of the federal government to cut some corners to save some healthcare dollars. They would never do that.

Still, won’t an erosion of the trust in our public health officials be another consequence of the nationalizing of the US healthcare system?

Once the government has an incentive to cut costs, who is going to believe their pronouncements on things like mammograms and pap smears?

The public health officials will lose all of their authority. How can we be sure they’re telling us what is best, and not just what is most cost effective?

By the way, didn’t Mr. Obama’s mother, Stanley, die from cervical/uterine cancer? Albeit at age 52.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 20th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Now It’s 2 Years Between Pap Smears”

  1. 11ten1775 says:

    This doesn’t mesh with how parents of 11 year-old girls are being badgered to give them the HPV vaccine. They NEED to protect their daughters from inevitable sexual activity as preteens, but it’s fine to wait another decade for a Pap smear?
    Which is it?
    I don’t really know what to think of these first two attempts to ration care. They are probably the two procedures women hate the most. No one begs for more Pap smears or mammograms, and they are overdone in some circumstances. Low risk patients can certainly cut back on these procedures, but that should be the result of a conversation between doctor and patient. And the reason docs have been pushing them more often surely has to do with legal concerns – the area where reform is actually needed.
    If the government could just get itself entirely out of the business of health care – recommendations and all – we’d sure be a lot better off as a nation.

  2. mr_bill says:

    I think a lot of us men would appreciate a similar adjustment to the prostate exam recommendations.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I believe that will be coming up next as the gubbamint slips medical rationing upon us.

      “Now Mr. Bill …….. turn your head to the left and bend over.”

  3. Paulajay says:

    Next week they’ll probably release the following guidelines — “if you are a registered Republican, or receive social security or unemployment benefits AND you experience sudden or severe chest pains, DO NOT call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. It’s probably just gas…. You’ll be fine.”

  4. proreason says:

    A few hundred thousand pre-mature deaths from cancer would be a great cost savings wouldn’t it?

    Then we would have more money to treat type 2 diabetes, which is more common among African Americans. And it turns out that blacks are about 12% less likely than other races to follow the inexpensive medication regime, so we need extra funding to treat them when the condition becomes more severe and much more expensive. And of course, diet is a major risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes.

    Our country is finally becoming fair..

  5. Chuckk says:

    How did they come up with the yearly schedule in the first place? I suspect it was a time frame pulled out of thin air and based on nothing.

  6. canary says:

    11ten1175. excellent points

    Steve excellent point “didn’t Mr. Obama’s mother, Stanley, did from cervical/uterine cancer? Albeit at age 52.” The medical association says the more sex partners a woman has increases the chances.

    They are really forgetting the heredity factor in breast cancer, and not stating an exception to women with a family history of breast cancer is negligent.

    Notice, they under reporting the number of deaths from ‘flu’?

    Michelle Obama posed like a 6 year old for the cover of Glamor. Is this a first for a first lady?

  7. pinandpuller says:

    It’s rather jarring to go from Barney Frank to pap smears.

    Annie Sprinkle isn’t worrying about government healthcare because she charges people to come see her pelvic exams and gets a NEA grant to boot.

  8. MinnesotaRush says:

    I wonder what testing guidelines they’ll be using at the Congressional Clinic???

    Somehow, I’m thinking they’ll be much different from the guidelines they’ll be imposing on the little folk.

  9. joeblough says:

    Some coincidence!

    Coincidence my butt!

  10. joeblough says:

    At what point did our society forget that utopian totalitarians are COLD COLD COLD bastards?

    I refuse to believe that I am the only person who notices that the generation that grew up reading 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451 BECAME the bad guys of their childhood stories.

    Does nobody ask what it means when you have become the sort of person who proposes that somebody skip their cancer checkup for the good of the collective?


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