Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Regular Smear Tests Raises Chances Of Cervical Cancer Cure 66% To 92%

According to a study published on bmj.com, regular cervical screening can considerably increase a women's chance of surviving cervical cancer. The study, the first to estimate chances of surviving cervical cancer, was conducted by researchers from the Centre for Research and Development in Gävle and the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The team examined all 1,230 women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the country between 1999 and 2001.

The researchers set out to determine whether the detection of cervical cancer by screening produced better prognosis or just earlier diagnosis, without delaying the time of death. The team examined screen-detected cancers (those with an abnormal smear result 1-6 months prior to cancer diagnosis), as well as symptomatic cancers (all remaining cases).

Results from the study revealed that there was a 92% cure rate for women who attended cervical screening, compared to 66% of women who were diagnosed by symptoms. This finding demonstrates a considerable increase in survival chances for those who attended cervical screening than women who did not.

Furthermore, the researchers found that women who were overdue for an examination had lower chances of survival than women who attended screening following an invitation.

In addition, the team found that 75 percent of the 373 women who died from the disease did not undergo a cervical smear in the advised time frame.

The researchers highlight that screening lowers the risk of cervical cancer and is linked to improved cure rates.

They write: "detection of invasive cancer by screening implies a very favorable prognosis compared to cases detected by symptoms." According to the researchers the effect on the cure for cervical cancer should be included when assessing screening programs.

“Screening and cervical cancer cure: population based cohort study” Bengt Andrae et al.
BMJ 2012; 344 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e900 (Published 1 March 2012)

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