Newswise — January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and an opportunity to clarify the ever-evolving recommendations for cervical cancer screening. The 2012 changes to cervical cancer screening guidelines altered Pap testing intervals and introduced HPV cotesting.
Now, in January 2016, interim guidance is changing again, further challenging patient understanding and compliance. While widespread screening over the last 30 years has dramatically reduced the incidence of cervical cancer, an estimated 12,000 women each year are diagnosed with this largely avoidable disease.
Carey Z. August, MD, FCAP, is the medical director of anatomic pathology at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She specializes in women's health issues and is available to answer questions on the subject including:
• Why do recommendations for cervical cancer screening keep changing? • Are HPV tests as effective as Pap tests in screening for cervical cancers?• What is the new, primary HPV test and how does it work?• Is the new HPV vaccine sufficient protection against cervical cancer?• Should all women receive both Pap and HPV tests?Dr. August also can offer tips for patients: • Talk with your physician about understanding your personal risk factors for cervical cancer.• Discuss the timing and tests that are right for you.• Understand why an abnormal Pap test result does not necessarily mean you have cancer.
Pathologists are the physicians who use laboratory medicine to examine cells, tissues, and fluids to identify and diagnose disease, including cancer. They are involved in nearly every aspect of health care and provide the medical interpretation of genetic testing, which is critical to help patients make informed decisions about their health.
About Dr. Carey AugustDr. August is a board certified pathologist and current medical director of anatomic pathology at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and her bachelor’s degree from Yale University.
About the College of American PathologistsAs the leading organization with more than 18,000 board-certified pathologists, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine. The CAP’s Laboratory Improvement Programs, initiated 65 years ago, currently has customers in more than 100 countries, accrediting 7,700 laboratories and providing proficiency testing to 22,000 laboratories. Find more information about the CAP at www.cap.org. Follow the CAP on Twitter: @pathologists.