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A laboratory comparison done after implementation of 2001 Bethesda criteria found an increase in reporting of squamous intraepithelial lesions on Pap test using liquid-based preparations, compared with conventional tests (decreased ASC:SIL ratios).
Data Source: Responses from the 125,297 females in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who were queried about their Pap test status by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
For women older than 30, a Pap test combined with an HPV test provides the best screening and monitoring possible.
The Pap test is a screening tool for cervical cancer, which is preventable through Pap tests and treatment, where necessary.
The researchers acknowledge a number of study limitations, among them the use of a convenience sample of women in only 18 states, the lack of information about whether women had been offered a Pap test during the previous year, the facility-based recruitment strategy and the use of self-reported data on Pap testing.
HIV-infected women without AIDS but with a sexually transmitted disease were 40% more likely to have had a Pap test in the past year (when compared with women without a sexually transmitted disease).
Health care providers used to do Pap tests every year for their female patients, no matter what.
Pap tests every two or three years for those age 30 or older who have had three normal Pap tests for three years in a row.
Factors that affect the frequency are the type of Pap test, the risk factors of the woman, and the woman's history of results from her Pap tests.
A Pap test is a simple procedure: After a speculum (the standard device used to examine the cervix) is placed in the vagina, cells are skimmed from the surface of the cervix with a cotton swab then smeared onto a glass slide.
A RECAF test performed on blood collected for other routine clinical analysis would likely prove much cheaper than the traditional pap test, which currently involves a gynecologist to extract the sample as well as a pathologist (or a sophisticated artificial intelligence system) to read the results.
A woman was considered free of lesions if two consecutive Pap tests 6 months apart revealed no abnormal cell growth.