March 3, 2012
Screening For Cervical Cancer Boosts Chances For Cure
According to research published in the British Medical Journal, women can boost their chances of surviving cervical cancer through regular cervical screening.
The researchers studied 1,230 women diagnosed with cervical cancer nationwide between 1999 and 2001.The authors from the Center for Research and Development in GÃ¤vle and the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden wanted to see if the detection of cervical cancer by screening resulted in better prognosis or just resulted in earlier diagnosis, without postponing the time of death.
They found that for women of screening age there was a 92 percent cure rate after a screen-detected diagnosis.
This figured decreased to 66 percent for women who were diagnosed after experiencing symptoms.
The authors wrote that results show a substantial increase in chances of cure for women, who attended cervical screening compared to those who did not.
The chances of cure were also higher for women who attended screening allowing an invitation, compared to those who were overdue for an examination.
Three quarters of the 373 women who died from cervical cancer had not had a cervical smear during the recommended time frame.
The authors determined that screening both reduces the risk of cervical cancer and is associated with improved cure.
They wrote that the "detection of invasive cancer by screening implies a very favorable prognosis compared to cases detected by symptoms."
The researchers recommend that the effect on the cure for cervical cancer should be included when evaluating screening programs.
Three-quarters of the 373 women who died from cervical cancer in the study had not had a cervical smear in the recommended timeframe.
"Even if you have not gone to cervical screening before, go when you are invited because you have a much better prognosis than waiting for the symptoms to appear," Dr Bengt Andrae, study author and senior consultant gynecologist at Uppsala University, told BBC.
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