Pap Smears Questioned Following Hysterectomy

Leslie Carol Botha:  Sigh. Women are put through so much mental and emotional anguish about parts of their bodies they cannot see.

Endometrial Cancer: Pap Smears Possibly Unnecessary Following Hysterectomy

NEWS
by Casey Holley
January 3, 2013

Women who have been treated for cancer with a hysterectomy are usually encouraged to get annual Pap smears to help detect disease recurrence. A study done at Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis shows that these tests may not be necessary. This could mean that women who have undergone this invasive testing may have done so in vain.

The authors of the study support the claim that there is a “significant limitation of Pap tests in diagnosing recurrent endometrial cancer.” This study was done on women who had the hysterectomy between 2006 and 2010. It included 433 women who had a collective 2,378 Pap smears done during the course of follow-up care. There were no recurrent cancers diagnosed based solely on the Pap smear cytology reports; however, 3 percent of the Pap smear cytology reports came back with abnormal results. Of that 3 percent, a significant association between the abnormal results and radiation after the hysterectomy was found.

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