While early detection with Pap and HPV testing improves the chances of successfully treating cervical cancer, copious testing is of no additional value and may place women at higher risk for vaginal bleeding, pain, infection, and missed disease. Moreover, abnormal results may cause undue anxiety, and may even lead to unnecessary therapy.2 As such, the ACS, ASCCP, ASCP, and USPSTF have proposed new screening guidelines advising reductions in screening frequency.10,13 In addition, scanning devices designed to detect cervical disease through optical spectroscopy are currently under investigation, and may prove to be useful diagnostic tools.3 It is important that healthcare professionals be well-informed about current and emergent screening tools and recommendations.

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  2. Kuehn BM.  Influential groups propose less frequent cervical cancer screening for most women.  JAMA. 2011;306(21):2311-2312.
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  10. Health groups issue proposed cervical cancer screening guidelines.  ScienceDaily Accessed January 5, 2012. 
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  12. Wright TC, Massad LS, Dunton CJ, et al. 2006 consensus guidelines for the management of women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or adenocarcinoma in situ.  Am J Obstet & Gynecol. 2007;197(4):340-345.
  13. Mitchell D.  USPSTF issues draft recommendation obesity, cervical cancer screening.  American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Accessed January 5, 2012.
  14. Goodman A.  New device is rapid, accurate in cervical cancer.  Medscape. Accessed January 6, 2012. 
  15. FDA accepts Guided Therapeutics’ non-invasive cervical cancer scanner PMA application for review.  Guided Therapeutics. Accessed January 6, 2012.