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Many Women Skip Getting Pap Smears

BRIEFS

January 26, 1998

Nine out of 10 women know they should get an annual Pap smear, the test for cervical and uterine cancer. But 37% haven't had one in the last year, reported the Gallup Organization.

In a poll commissioned by the College of American Pathologists, Gallup found that older, lower-income and less-educated women are less likely to have an annual Pap smear. Only 51% of women 50 and older had an exam last year, even though nearly 60% of all cervical cancer is found in women older than 55. Four out of five women who die of cervical cancer have not had a Pap smear in five or more years. The college of pathologists also suggests women research the laboratory that processes their tests. To check on a lab, call (800) LAB-5678.

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