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At age 65 years, cervical cancer screening is not recommended in women with an adequate history of negative screening tests in the previous 10 years if they do not have other high-risk factors for cervical cancer. The purpose of this study was to assess the proportion of older low-income women at a safety net urban hospital system without other risk factors for cervical cancer who should have cervical cancer screening because of an inadequate screening history, and to evaluate if they were triaged appropriately. Medical records from 200 women 65 years and older at the Gynecology clinic of John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County were evaluated for adequate cervical cancer screening or hysterectomy to see if they could stop screening. Charts were reviewed to see if a screen was performed, and the results of that test and associated biopsies. Data using cytology alone and the cytology/human papillomavirus cotest were compared. Chi-square test was used. Of 200 women included, the median age was 68.5 years, range 65-93 years. Of these women, 81 (40.5%) did not need testing because of adequate screening or hysterectomy for benign indications. There were 119 (59.5%) women who needed to continue testing because of inadequate screening. Of these women, 46 (38.7%) did not have appropriate testing carried out. Of 73 correctly screened women, 16 (21.9%) required biopsies, of which 11 demonstrated high-grade lesions or cancers. Many older women, especially low-income women, need to continue screening for cervical cancer because of inadequate screening histories. This is a group at increased risk for cervical cancer, and it is imperative that clinicians evaluate previous test results before exiting a woman from screening at age 65 years.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of women's health (2002)
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