The ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice) voted last week to rule in favor of making the HPV vaccination recommended instead of approved for boys and young men, as had been for or so many years. Once the ACIP votes, the FDA typically follows along with those recommendations so we can expect to hear something soon on that front.
The current guidelines for cervical cancer screening which has also been updated reads much like a Chinese menu and is difficult for even the seasoned veteran physician to understand.
The idea behind extending the time frame for initial screening by approximately three years was to reduce unnecessary treatments and procedures, but it makes no difference how these guidelines are changed if physicians are failing to properly utilize them. These recommendations for extension actually occurred in 2009 but were formalized in these new screening recommendations.
These recommendations are available on the Internet for review, and women should take the time to not only review them, but also to comment upon them before November 15th. You can read the draft recommendations at the following link: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/draftrec4.htm
Please provide your comments before November 15th at the following link:
Many physicians continue to prescribe unnecessary procedures and even unnecessary surgeries resulting in infertility because they lack the necessary knowledge regarding HPV and these guidelines. Unless sufficient feedback is received before November 15th to justify altering these new recommendations, they will continue to remain.
This brings up the subject of insurance coverage regarding these tests. Even when reporting this information, the news media fail to mention that the patient’s specific situation should take priority over these guidelines.
If simply observing the guidelines, the physician may preclude early diagnosis in many women while unnecessarily testing (each year) those women at low risk for developing cancer.