Health & Fitness

February 3, 2014 12:00 AM

Cervical cancer screening a key part of annual well woman exam

Cervical cancer screening is an important part of the annual exam for women. The pap smear has successfully reduced mortality from cervical cancer since its introduction in the middle of the 20th century. Nearly 100 percent of cervical cancer specimens test positive for a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), suggesting that this virus is the true cause of this cancer in women. Recently, screening for cervical cancer has improved significantly with the addition of HPV testing to pap smears for those older than age 30.

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