Cancer Confusion for Women

The Huffington Post

Roseanne Colletti

Posted: November 22, 2009 07:43 PM

I don’t know about you, but I’m confused. Who is telling me the truth about mammograms and Pap smears? A federal panel says women can wait until 50 for yearly mammograms. A group representing obstetricians and gynecologists advises women can wait until 21 for their first screening for cervical cancer.(acog.org)

For years, women have been advised to get annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Even teenagers were told to get yearly Pap smears within three years of becoming sexually active.

In truth, while women young and old have been scheduling those yearly doctor visits, the rates for both cervical and breast cancers have dropped dramatically. Since the onset of regular mammography screening in 1990, the breast cancer mortality rate has dropped by almost a third. The cervical cancer rate has declined by half, with credit given to the yearly Pap smear.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.