Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In line with what my doctor told me

Health panel: Pap tests needed only every 3 years
Women only need to get a Pap test once every three years to check for cervical cancer, and don't need to be screened until age 21 - even if they're sexually active earlier, according to new guidelines from a government-backed panel.
Although he stressed that it's important to get a GYN exam every year, particularly the breast screening. I suspect they also want to see you every year because for many women, the gynaecologist is their primary care physician. The five-year Pap plus HPV is intriguing. I am curious as to whether I have ever been exposed to the cancer-causing virus. Many people by my age, have. But of course they won't do it just settle my curiosity. I have had a very limited sexual experience in my life, but I had a partner who cheated on me with a host of men, and I thank the Gods that in my naïveté (read 'stupidity'), I did not contract anything as a result, despite a period of unprotected sex.

What they're not saying is to end screening; rather it's important to be screened between the ages of 21 and 65, and beyond if there is a history of problems. They want you to be screened--particularly if you've ever had an unusual Pap smear, never had one, or haven't had one in five years. So if you've put it off, and you're a woman, really consider going ahead and going in. No, it's not the most comfortable test, but cervical cancer is far worse.

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