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Women should continue cervical cancer screening as they approach 65

Washington: Women, please take note, do not stop cervical cancer screening until your stopping age, suggest a study.

According to researchers, rate of cervical cancer do not begin to decline until 85 years of age among women without a hysterectomy – a surgical operation to remove all or part of the uterus – and that women over 65 who have not been recently screened may benefit from continued surveillance.

According to researchers, women who have not had a hysterectomy need to continue to be screened until age 65, and possibly later if they have not been screened for many years or are at special risk, consistent with current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations.

The results suggested that in 2013, one-fifth of cervical cancer cases and one-third of cervical cancer deaths occurred among women 65 years of age and older.

“An older woman, who has not had her cervix surgically removed has the same or even higher risk of developing cervical cancer compared to a younger woman,” said lead investigator Mary C. White from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta.

Using data from the 2013 and 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), they analysed the use of screening tests and rates of cervical cancer for women 65 years of age and older.

They found that when corrected for hysterectomy, incidence rates of cervical cancer increased with age until 70 and did not begin to decline until age 85.

The data also revealed that many women approaching the “stopping” age of 65. Nearly 8,50,000 women aged 61-65 years had not been screened within the last five years.

“A recommended upper age limit for routine screening may lead women and providers to assume that cervical cancer is a younger women’s disease,” explained Dr. White.

The findings appeared in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (ANI)