Public cervical cancer screening recommendations from US cancer centers: Assessing adherence to national guidelines

Sophia Salingaros, Yiwey Shieh, Madelon L. Finkel, Margaret Polaneczky, Deborah Korenstein, Jennifer L. Marti

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

Though widespread adoption of cervical cancer screening (CCS) in the US has been associated with a reduction in cervical cancer incidence and mortality, screening also carries with it potential risks. Newer national guidelines recommend decreased screening frequency to optimize the benefit/risk balance and to prevent over-screening. Here, we examined the alignment of US cancer center websites’ public recommendations on CCS with national guidelines. We reviewed the websites of 1024 cancer centers accredited by the US Commission on Cancer during January–August 2022. We recorded the recommended frequency and type of CCS and any screening risks mentioned, comparing against national US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) and American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines. Of 1024 US cancer centers, 60% (610) provided CCS recommendations. Most centers are in alignment with the screening starting age (96%, 544/565) and stopping age (94%, 440/470) recommended by national guidelines. Of 508 centers specifying the frequency of standalone cervical cytology, 83% (419) recommended a screening interval of three years; however, 14% (73) recommended cervical cytology more frequently than the three-year interval recommended by the ACS/USPSTF. Screening risks were mentioned by 20% (124/610) of centers. Our findings highlight the importance of education on screening benefits and risks for physicians and patients to enable shared decision making based on evidence-based guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • cancer screening
  • Cervical cancer
  • cervical cancer screening

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