Study supports raising pap screening age

July 29, 2009 2:30:02 PM PDT
A British study adds support to a growing movement to raise the age at which American women are recommended to start pap screenings to detect cervical cancer. In England, the recommended age for screening was recently raised to 25. In the U.S. it is 21 or within three years of their first sexual intercourse.

The study in the British Medical Journal found screening is not very helpful in teens even if cancer is found early.

Low grade lesions tend to go away by themselves more often in young women.

The study was done because many experts believe that a pap test followed by aggressive treatment for moderate cancerous changes in the cervix did more harm than good.