CDC Study Finds Link Between HPV Vaccine and Cervical Cancer Screening Initiation and Frequency

As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discusses the results of a survey conducted between 2006 and 2007 of over 1,000 primary care physicians regarding the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine and whether it affects a doctor’s decision to perform future screenings for women who have been vaccinated for the cancer.

The study evaluated doctors who provide patients with Pap testing, and asked them questions regarding Pap test screening practices, and, whether the HPV vaccine has an impact on future screenings for cervical cancer. Approximately 40 percent of physicians stated the HPV vaccine affects the initiation of screening, and about 38 percent agreed that vaccination affects the frequency of screenings. The study concluded that many doctors do in fact adjust cervical cancer screening practices and frequency for women who have been vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.

Since the HPV vaccine was introduced to the U.S. in 2006, cervical cancer screening recommendations have not been changed. However, health studies note that these recommendations need to be changed for fully HPV vaccinated women. The CDC study results found a link between the belief of physicians in the effectiveness of the cervical cancer vaccine and the intention to change the initiation and frequency Pap screenings.

According to the CDC, every year, about 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Unfortunately, almost half of the cervical cancer cases are diagnosed during the late-stages of the disease, when treatment is more difficult and less effective. With regular screenings and follow-ups, many incidences of cervical cancer may be prevented, since screenings can identify precancerous lesions, which can be addressed before the disease process advances to cancer.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends that cervical cancer screenings with a Pap test should start for women at age 21, or, within three years of becoming sexually active, whichever comes first. Additionally, they recommend that women should be screened every year with three successive normal Pap tests, and then at least every three years until age 64.

The New Jersey delayed cancer diagnosis attorneys at Blume Forte have the experience and resources that are needed to provide legal assistance to someone who has had their disease misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late. If you have suffered because of a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose or treat your condition, call our law offices at 973-845-4421 to learn more about your potential legal options.

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