Herbert M. Dean, MD
To the Editors: In the recent article on screening for cervical cancer, Eddy (1) uses a risk-benefit approach to analyzing the use of the Papanicolaou smear for early detection of cervical cancer and recommends that, "for most women, a 3-year frequency is appropriate."
I do not dispute Eddy's data (1); unfortunately, however, for most patients and many physicians, a Papanicolaou smear is equated with a pelvic examination. Recommending a 3-year frequency for this test and thus foregoing more regular pelvic examinations reduces the number of opportunities to detect an enlarged, asymptomatic, stage I or II ovarian cancer, to investigate the
Dean HM. Annual Pelvic Examination. Ann Intern Med. ;113:803. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-113-10-803_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(10):803.
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