Pap smear helps monitor those with lesions

Oct. 27, 2010 at 11:02 PM

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Conventional Pap smears help reduce cancer incidence in those who have had cervical lesions, U.S. researchers say.

Researcher Joy Melnikow at the University of California, Davis, Health System and colleagues says the annual Pap smear is a cost-effective strategy to reduce cancer incidence and death in patients who have been treated for precancerous cervical lesions.

Melnikow and colleagues tested several follow-up screening methods for U.S. women diagnosed and treated for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia -- abnormal cervical cell growth that can lead to cervical cancer.

"This is a large and growing pool of women who need follow-up after treatment," Melnikow says in a statement.

"What we learned was that the newer technologies such as liquid-based Pap testing and human papillomavirus testing add considerable cost but little to no benefit compared with conventional Pap smear follow-up."

The study is scheduled to be published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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