According to findings from a new study researchers say women who are heading to the doctor for a Pap smear and mammogram, might be missing out on getting screened for the number three cancer killer in women. Researchers say that women might now also need to add colorectal screenings to the list.
To compare cancer-screening tests, researchers looked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2001 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey. It asked more than 54,000 women over the age of 50 what cancer checks they've had. Researchers then compared this data to the American Cancer Society's guidelines.
While nearly 70 percent of women had a Pap smear, and 82 percent reported having a mammogram, researchers report only 46 percent had been checked for colon cancer. However, women who had both a Pap smear and mammogram were more than five-times as likely to have a colonoscopy.
Researchers say that when women have a Pap smear or mammogram, doctors should prompt them to have a colon cancer screening. Researchers say this would be a great opportunity to increase a woman's awareness about the need for a colonoscopy.