ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global Coalition Against Cervical Cancer (GC3) applauds the recent release of draft cervical cancer screening recommendations by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). GC3 encourages organizations, researchers, clinicians, survivors, and other cervical cancer prevention stakeholders to submit comments to the USPSTF by the October 9, 8:00 PM EDT deadline.
The USPSTF's draft recommendations include screening with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing alone every five years for women 30 to 65 years old – the first time a U.S. medical advisory organization has recommended HPV testing without cytology (Pap screening). Cited areas for future research include the need for rigorous comparative studies on self-collection with hrHPV testing to increase screening rates among under-screened and unscreened adult women. The USPSTF recommendations noted that most cases of cervical cancer occur in women who have not been adequately screened or treated.
Dr. Philip Castle, chief executive officer of GC3, said, "The USPSTF draft recommendations are in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) and American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines and affirm primary HPV testing as the standard-of-care for screening women around the world. Importantly, establishing primary HPV testing as the new standard opens the door to allowing medically underserved women to collect their own specimen for HPV testing for cervical screening."
GC3 is coordinating a systematic review of hrHPV self-collection evidence on clinical accuracy and participation approaches for under-screened and unscreened adult women. The review committee, which includes experts from U.S. federal health agencies, professional groups, leading researchers and clinicians, will release its findings in 2018. Findings will contribute important conclusions about the accuracy of HPV self-collection, and approaches with demonstrated effectiveness.
Self-collection allows women to collect their own cervical sample using a simple kit and instructions in the convenience and privacy of their own home. Women can drop off or mail their sample to a clinic or laboratory. Clinicians contact women with results and next steps for follow-up testing and treatment, when needed. Women in the U.S. and around the world have found self-collection to be an acceptable alternative when barriers like transportation, distance to clinic, appointment cost, time off work, or child care prevent routine screening.
Dr. Castle said, "Our systematic review will provide important evidence on how accurate the combination of self-collection and HPV testing is and therefore how this approach should be used as an alternative screening approach. This review will also reveal how best to deliver cervical screening using self-collection to medically underserved women. GC3 promotes equal access to effective cervical screening for all women."
Dr. Castle is a former senior, tenured investigator in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute.
The Global Coalition Against Cervical Cancer is a 501(c)(3) organization serving as an independent, credible source for technical support and expertise, technology transfer, training, and education to assist countries and entities that want to implement scaled-up cervical cancer prevention and control programs. For more information, visit solvecervicalcancer.org.
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SOURCE Global Coalition Against Cervical Cancer