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Here's who should really worry about cervical cancer, doctors say

November 19, 2009 |  9:58 pm

Sci-pap-smear20  The new cervical cancer screening recommendations might worry some women accustomed to getting screened every year. They shouldn’t, most doctors say.

 Today's story: Group recommends less frequent Pap tests 

The women who should be worried, physicians point out, are those who remain under-screened.

Half of the women who die from cervical cancer never had a Pap test, and 10% had not been screened in the five years before detection.

Overall, about 20% of U.S. women don’t get regular Pap tests, and 40% fail to get regular mammograms, said Dr. Edward Partridge, an oncologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He’s the chairman of the cervical cancer screening guidelines panel for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

“The biggest problem is women who don’t get screened at all,” he said. “That is where your breast cancer is. That is where your cervical cancer is.”

-- Shari Roan