July 19, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Berry Edwards
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Congress is taking action to protect women’s access to comprehensive cervical cancer screening. Rep. David Young (R-IA) successfully sponsored an amendment to the House appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also expressed her strong support of the measure in her opening remarks in the hearing. If passed, the amendment will protect current cervical cancer screening co-testing practices through 2022.
The amendment says that for purposes of the law, the USPSTF recommendations from March 2012 will be considered most recent. These recommendations say women ages 30-65 should get a Pap test every three years or a Pap test combined with an HPV test (co-testing) every five years.
The new proposed draft guidelines from the USPSTF do not include a recommendation for co-testing. Without the amendment from Congress, the finalization of these guidelines would mean millions of women could lose insurance coverage for comprehensive cervical cancer screening.
Research shows routine cervical cancer co-testing identifies more cases of cancer than either the HPV or the Pap test alone. Almost 19 percent of cancers are missed with HPV testing alone, and about 12 percent of cancers are missed with Pap testing alone, while less than six percent are missed with the combined tests. Co-testing also helps health care professionals detect cervical cancers in early stages, when successful treatment is more likely.
“We know that co-testing saves lives. It’s critical we maintain insurance coverage for co-testing so women can access these essential preventive services,” said Prevent Cancer Foundation® Founder and CEO Carolyn Aldigé. “The Prevent Cancer Foundation thanks Reps. Young and DeLauro for taking a stand and protecting women’s health.”
For more information on cervical cancer prevention and early detection, visit preventcancer.org/cervical.