Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Female doctors twice as likely to screen low-risk women for cervical cancer

Date:
November 7, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
For low-risk women, the likelihood that they get tested for HPV may depend on what clinic they visit, their doctor’s status and whether their provider is male or female.

For low-risk women, the likelihood that they get tested for the infection that causes cervical cancer (human papillomavirus or HPV) may depend on what clinic they visit, their doctor's status and whether their provider is male or female, a University of Michigan Health System study shows.

Related Articles


Female family physicians are twice as likely to order the HPV test (in addition to screening for cervical cancer through pap smears) for low-risk women aged 30-65 than their male counterparts, according to the findings published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Other factors included training and processes among individual clinics and the status of the doctor -- interestingly, residents and fellows were also more likely to order the test than more seasoned, faculty-level physicians.

Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by HPV infections, the most common sexually transmitted disease. Pap smears have traditionally been used to test for precancerous cells that lead to cervical cancer; however doctors can also now order an HPV test to check for the virus that causes the abnormal cells to develop.

New guidelines from the medical community recommend cervical cancer screening through a pap smear every three years or a pap smear and HPV co-testing every five years for women aged 30-65. The U-M study examined variations among doctors who ordered the additional HPV test for women whose pap smear results were normal.

"Cervical cancer has moved from being a molecular issue to an infectious issue and this whole concept of testing someone with normal cells in the cervix changes the paradigm on how you communicate with patients about HPV tests, and how and when to use them," says senior author Mack Ruffin IV, M.D., M.P.H., professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School, researcher at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. "As HPV testing becomes more frequent, this data helps us identify differences in care that we can improve in the future."

Read a related blog post by Dr. Ruffin "Top Myths about HPV."

Authors say it can be a prickly issue with patients. Since HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, many women may not think the HPV test is necessary for them based on their sexual history. HPV, which has no symptoms, often goes away on its own but certain HPV types remain, leading to cell changes that can cause cervical cancer if left untreated.

Further study is also needed to examine why male doctors and faculty members are less likely to do the HPV tests in this population of women. Authors say the findings indicate that future efforts to change standards may need to particularly target these groups of care providers. Residents and fellows may have more current training on gynecology and screening guidelines, authors say.

"Cervical cancer can be the most preventable cancer in women. Current strategies using co-testing with pap and HPV tests are a well-received and cost-effective option for screening low risk women," says co-author Alisa Young, M.D., clinical lecturer in the U-M Department Family Medicine.

"Our results show that variations in ordering HPV testing can vary based on training which can lead to inadequate or over-screening."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. S. D. de la Cruz, A. P. Young, M. T. Ruffin. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Testing for Normal Cervical Cytology in Low-Risk Women Aged 30-65 Years by Family Physicians. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 2013; 26 (6): 720 DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2013.06.120260

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Female doctors twice as likely to screen low-risk women for cervical cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107154612.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, November 7). Female doctors twice as likely to screen low-risk women for cervical cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107154612.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Female doctors twice as likely to screen low-risk women for cervical cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107154612.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins