According to the researchers at the Aberdeen University it was found that women are worried about their slightly abnormal smear test results. They experience unnecessarily high levels of anxiety. About 3,500 women were reviewed who had previously taken up the cervical smear test.
Cervical cancer is on the rise in UK. About 3,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. It can affect women of any age who were sexually active and are the second most common cancer in women under 35. The study results are published in the British Journal of Cancer. Researchers have linked cervical cancer to human papillomavirus (HPV). The cervical smear is a test to detect whether the women suffer from the risk of developing cervical cancer.
It is a preventive method. But women who have slightly abnormal results suffer from extreme clinical anxiety. This is especially seen among women whose test results were borderline, as those whose results contained more definitive bad news. Lead researcher Nicola Gray said that the results of the smear tests are being misinterpreted. It indicates a pre cancerous lesion and not to definitive cancer. A slightly abnormal test means that some of the cells on the smear were slightly abnormal and could become cancerous sometime in the future. If early detection and proper treatment is done these abnormal cells can be reverted back to normal cells.
The doctor will ask the woman to come back in six months for a repeat smear test or would carry out another examination called a colposcopy to examine the cervix more closely and take action to treat the cells. The national screening programme is estimated to save thousands of lives in the UK every year but if a clear picture is not revealed them women may refrain from taking up the smear tests.