The Columbus Dispatch had this to say about the change in screening:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved HPV testing as a primary test for cervical-cancer screening. It requires a swab of the cervix — like a Pap — and detects 14 types of HPV, including the two responsible for seven of 10 cervical cancers.
Two leading medical organizations say that using a Human papillomavirus (HPV) test alone for cervical cancer screening is an effective alternative to the current recommendation for screening with either cytology (the Pap test) alone or co-testing with ..
Now bring in the National Cancer Institute with their words of wisdom:
Screening With the HPV DNA Test: Harms
Based on solid evidence, HPV testing identifies numerous infections that will not lead to cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. This is especially true in women younger than 30 years, in whom rates of HPV infection may be higher.
Magnitude of Effect: In one study, 86.7 % of women with a positive HPV test did not develop cervical cancer or related premalignant disease after more than a decade of follow up.
86.7% is a very impressive number – especially compared to the 90% of women who naturally pass the HPV virus out of their bodies in less than two years. But wait those numbers are just about identical.
Alright, obviously, I AM going somewhere with this: Less than a decade ago no one had herd of HPV. Merck & Co who brought us Gardasil was given a pharmaceutical award for ‘creating a market out of thin air.’
Now HPV is front and center along with Gardasil, the HPV vaccine – and now the latest version Gardasil 9 which targets even more strains of the virus.
Oddly enough – and yes, now I am finally getting there – the FDA and Merck, and the CDC and the NCI all knew 9 years ago in the May 2006 FDA VRBPAC Report, that if a girl was previously exposed to HPV (CDC estimates that 25,000,000 women in the targeted demographic have been previously exposed (and not just through sex – studies show there is vertical transmission of the virus) and if she is administered the HPV vaccines the vaccine loses efficacy and the incidences of cervical cancer increase by 44.6% post Gardasil and 32.5% post Cervarix (the other HPV vaccine).
So the final question is – and here is the wrap up…why has our government waited so long to introduce HPV testing to the market. Perhaps they are concerned about the vaccine’s inefficacy – or the increased rate of cervical cancer in a demographic of young girls who until Gardasil has a historically low incidence rate?
Either way – guess I am off to get my cervical cancer screening…. how does that sound to your ears? Frightening?
And BTW – if you test positive for HPV – remember that cervical cancer develops not because of a single infection, but multiple persistent infections that may cause cervical cancer. …therefore it is the persistent infection, not the virus that determines cervical cancer risk. And those words of wisdom are from a former pathologist.
Final words of wisdom – if you do have HPV – then the vaccines are not for you. Period. Remember that.
Panel advises HPV test replace Pap test for cervical cancer screening
January 8, 2015
In new interim guidelines released today, a panel of cervical cancer screening experts has recommended the human papillomavirus (HPV) test replace Pap tests for women as young as 25, AL.com
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest data, 12,109 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011, while 4,092 women died from the disease that year. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, affecting both men and women. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they’re passing the virus to a sex partner.
Current guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force use the Pap test as the primary tool for cervical cancer screening. Those guidelines advise that women ages 21 to 65 have the test done once every three years. Co-testing with the HPV test has been used for women age 30 and older. The combination allows patients to space out testing to once every five years if they take both tests.
“When you really look at it, the difference in performance between Pap tests and primary HPV is really quite impressive,” lead panel author Dr. Warner Huh, senior scientist at University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Care Center, told AL.com. “Pap tests are missing a fair amount of clinically meaningful precancer.”