The yearly Pap test has been one that offers women protection against cervical cancer. All this changed after 2003, when a test for human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical cancer, was approved.
With this HPV test, it is not necessary for women to get Pap tests as often.
Surprisingly, only 39% of clinicians in five Michigan clinics ordered HPV tests for women during a checkup.
Further, many doctors performed annual Pap tests even though it can done once in five years for women who tested free of HPV. What is worse, some Doctors were found to be prescribing annual Pap tests and HPV tests.
This study analyzed the experiences of 833 women between the ages of 30 and 65 , who had sought advice from five Michigan family medicine clinics from 2008 to 2011.
The study found that less than 50% of clinicians had ordered HPV tests. Infact, some of the experts suggested that women repeat both the Pap and HPV test annually.
Presently, Pap tests are recommended every three years for women in their 20s. Women aged 30 and above who do not undergo HPV/Pap combo are advised to get a Pap test every three years.