Wow that was fast lol. I made a prediction yesterday that pap smears would be next on the list in the US to be done every 3-5 years instead of yearly... and they announced last night that they recommend every other year. I was close enough ;)
Again, another thing we have been doing up here for awhile. I don't know what the stats are, I don't know if it has harmed anyone, but it's just another example of how money-saving is trumping personal choices over health care.
I used to get letters in the mail every year from my provincial health authority telling me how important it was to get yearly paps, detailed information on how fast the cells can form and how women need to keep on top of their health. Now I only get a short letter every 2 or 3 years telling me that I should get a pap done within the next year. Is the change mainly based on cost saving? Of course it is - they say there is no evidence to show that yearly mamms or paps save lives better than waiting longer, but it is still cost driven. If I want to get a pap every year, who are they to tell me I don't have to or to tell me I CAN'T? I pay into this system every month, every day, through my taxes and so do millions of other women. But someone on a Board decided that we don't have to get this done - because they don't want to pay for it. They consider it a frivilous cost.
What's next? I don't have another prediction right now but if I think of one I'll post it here.
AP News Link
I also noticed something else interesting in the article. They changed the age to 21 when previously it was within 3 years of sexual intercourse, or 21 (whichever comes first).
Now let's think about HPV. The Gardasil shot is being pushed in the US because it covers some strains of HPV that have been linked to cervical cancer. When I looked it up while ago, they figured 30-40 strains of HPV can lead to cervical cancer. HPV is passed through sexual contact. The Gardasil shot only covers 4 strains of HPV.
Okay so let's say a 14 year old girl starts having sex, unprotected, with multiple partners over the years. She follows the guidelines and doesn't get a pap for 7 YEARS. HPV is the most common STI and about 50% of Americans will have some form of HPV at one time or another.
The test for HPV is included in the regular cervical cancer screening (pap smear).
So now they are saying it's okay for all these teens to go for years having sex but not get tested for HPV or cancer until they are 21. That's a lovely idea!