United States

Doctors Weigh In On Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

A new study is raising questions about the age limit for cervical cancer screenings.

Several medical groups currently recommend cervical screening stop at age 65 for women at low-risk for the disease, but researchers at the University of Alabama found that 20 percent of cervical cancer cases were diagnosed in women 65 or older.

In fact, women in their 70's were more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than those in their 20's.

Gynecological oncologist Dr. Noelle Cloven, at Texas Oncology, knows cervical cancer doesn't discriminate.

"Cervical cancer can affect any woman at any age. No one is at zero risk for cervical cancer," said Dr. Cloven.

She says screening guidelines may need to be reconsidered.

"The guidelines definitely need to be addressed, re-looked at, to try to find something that's going, to help us detect cancer in this particular age group of women," said Dr. Cloven.

Most cervical cancer cases can be prevented and in the United States, fewer than 4,000 women die from it each year.

A serious symptom of cervical cancer in women over the age of 65 is vaginal bleeding. 

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