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Study : Doctors Recommend Pap Smear Too Often

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A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that U.S. doctors are telling their patients to get a Pap Smear more often than the American Cancer Society recommends.  ACS guidelines suggest that a woman over 30 wait three years for a Pap test after she has had a normal test, but most physicians still tell us we should have one every year. Better safe than sorry, you say? Researchers say that’s not necessarily true in this case. Being tested too often increases your chances of getting a false positive result, which may lead to treatment which could do more harm than good. The same study also found that too many HPV tests are being performed on women under the age of 30. The ACS recommends women 30 and older have a Pap smear and an an HPV test once every three years, as long as their last result was normal. The HPV virus is common in younger women and often goes away without treatment.

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