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.