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Many Doctors Ignore Guidelines, Order Annual Pap Test

Survey Suggests Doctors May Be Overscreening for Cervical Cancer

Yearly Pap Tests Still Popular continued...

Study co-researcher Mona Saraiya, MD, of the CDC's division of cancer prevention and control, says, "Patients are playing a really key role in affecting provider behaviors, so they can say if they want to be screened with the Pap test or new HPV-co test."

Mark H. Einstein, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, explains some of the dangers associated with over-screening for cervical cancer. "There is quite a bit of over-screening in women in the U.S., which ultimately leads to over-management and over-treatment," he says.

"Providers may be aware of guidelines, but to a large degree, they are not completely following them," Einstein says. "Explaining to a patient that they don't need annual testing and why it is detrimental can be a tricky conversation."

The women who are most likely to get cervical cancer haven't had screening in five years, he says.

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