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Women Whose Cervical Cancer Is Diagnosed via Pap Tests Have Higher Chance of Survival
By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
Even those women who had symptoms when they went for a regular Pap test had a better chance of beating the cancer than women who were overdue for their screening test when diagnosed. More than 75% of the 373 women who died had not had a Pap test during the recommended time frame.
The study included 1,230 women in Sweden diagnosed with cervical cancer between 1999 and 2001. They were screened by a routine Pap test or diagnosed as a result of symptoms. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, and abnormal discharge that is tinged with blood between periods or after menopause.
Pap tests are more likely to find the cancers at an earlier and more treatable stage, the study authors conclude. The findings appear online in the journal BMJ.
According to the American Cancer Society, all women should start getting regular Pap tests by the time they turn 21 or three years after they start having vaginal intercourse. All women should discuss the appropriate cervical cancer screening strategies with their doctor.
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