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The Latest Women’s Health Recommendation

November 20, 2009 | NeW Staff

Today, I was almost shocked when I saw the lead headline in The New York Times: “Guidelines Push Back Age for Cervical Cancer Tests.”  And now it seems we are facing another cycle of confusion and mixed messages from health experts. 


This recommendation, however, is from a new source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  They recommend that young women do not need cervical screening until age 21 and require less screening than once believed by physicians.  The College is fighting against the claims that this has anything to do with cutting costs but more with scientific evidence.  

They called the timing of their recommendation “unfortunate” as it has been linked to the mammogram debate.  They argue that pap smears can have negative effects on women if performed too many times.  The American College is a group of doctors not appointed by the federal government. What’s more, this group had opposed the mammography recommendations by the government task force.  

It seems as though this new recommendation is less controversial and will face less scrutiny during the healthcare debate on the Senate floor; however, as young women, it is surely something that we need to be aware of.
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