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They Say: Cervical Cancer Screens Bad for Teens

speculumJust like last week’s announcement that women can put off breast exams until fifty, we weren’t surprised to hear the hew and cry over the new ruling from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology that women can limit pap smears to every other year.

Are insurance companies just try to save a little cash? Are women going to get by with the uncomfortable leg flop just once every other year?

So here’s what fascinated us at Strollerderby: we’ve always heard that our daughters needed a visit to the OB/GYN to be tested for cervical cancer the minute she became sexually active (OK, more like within three years after, but to a mother it was “rush her butt to the gyno,” and can you blame them?).

The ACOG now says no way – not only is she at a “very low risk,” but the docs are actually warning the even screening her “may lead to unnecessary and harmful evaluation and treatment.”

The biggest fear is that the adolescent cervix has a higher incidence of HPV-related precancerous lesions, but the majority will resolve on their own without treatment. Treating them, they’ve found, can actually have a more devastating affect on a girl’s reproductive system than leaving them alone to naturally disappear. Among them: premature births have jumped in women who had treatment on these pre-cancerous lesions during their teen years.

Ironically, they’re actually saying the pap smear is to THANK for the huge dip in cervical cancers in the last 30 years. And we’re imagining this little thing called Gardasil played a role as well.

Image: tradeget

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