Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

Cervical smears needed for over 50s

Posted by hannahflynn on May 9, 2009

Recently the minimum age for smears has been the cause of much debate, but new evidence suggests the maximum should be considered too.

The study by the Institute of Cancer Researchshowed two thirds of women screened between the ages of 50 and 64 and found to have serious abnormalities, had two previous negative tests in their 40s. This shows cancer cases could be missed if screening was stopped at 50.

Published in the British Journal of Cancer the results were drawn from over 2 million women after questions were raised over the cost effectiveness of screening at this age. The possibility of false positive results for abnormalities was also questioned.

Though it was found the risk of developing cervical cancer did decrease with age, the rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the over 40s could change this. This is as exposure to HPV or other STIs can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer.

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One Response to “Cervical smears needed for over 50s”

  1. Cervical dysplasia is an abnormal change that occurs in the female cervix region. When left untreated, this grows into Cervical Cancer (Clayman 1989). Worldwide, Cervical Cancer is the second largest cause of cancer death amongst women. Possibly women can prevent the progression of Cervical dysplasia to Cervical Cancer through regular Pap screening tests.

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