National Cancer Institute  U.S. National Institutes of Health

Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2007 Update

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Breast Cancer Screening
Cervical Cancer Screening
Colorectal Cancer Screening

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Cervical Cancer Screening
Early Detection

Pap test use is high, though it fell slightly between 2000 and 2005 among women aged 18 and older.

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Benefits of Pap Testing

Regular use of the Pap test followed by appropriate and timely treatment reduces deaths from cervical cancer. Women who have never been screened or who have not been screened in the past 5 years face a greater risk of developing invasive cervical cancer.

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Percentage of women aged 18 years and older who reported they had a Pap test within the past 3 years.

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Period – 1987–2005

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Trends – Rising slightly until 2000, then falling slightly for Whites and stabilizing for Hispanics, Blacks, and California Asians (not graphed).

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Most Recent Estimates

In 2005, 78 percent of women aged 18 and older had a Pap test within the past 3 years. This includes 74 percent of Hispanics, 80 percent of Blacks, and 79 percent of Whites. These rates were down for all women (from 79 percent in 2003), for Hispanics (from 75 percent in 2003), for Blacks (from 83 percent in 2003), and for Whites (80 percent in 2003). Among Asian women interviewed in California, 73 percent had a Pap test in 2005 (compared with 74 percent in 2003).

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Healthy People 2010 Targets

Increase to 90 percent the proportion of women aged 18 and older who have received a Pap test within the past 3 years.

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Groups at High Risk for Not Being Screened

Older, poor, and less educated women are less likely to be screened for cervical cancer. Older women are at greater risk than younger women of developing and dying from cervical cancer. Women who have received the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) should still continue to obtain Pap tests.

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Key Issues

Regular Pap testing needs to be encouraged for all women. Special efforts are needed for older, poor, less educated, and immigrant women. Sexually active women also especially need Pap testing because they are more likely to be exposed to the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), both of which can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer.

HPV testing is a promising new technique that may improve screening efforts because detection of these viruses identifies women at higher risk of cervical cancer, who then may be followed more closely

A new HPV vaccine for cervical cancer, shown to be effective in girls not exposed to the sexually transmitted virus, was recently released.

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Additional Information on Cervical Cancer Screening

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National Cancer InstituteDepartment of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of