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Screening for cervical cancer

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  • Screening by means of a smear test accompanied by adequate follow up of the deviations found is an effective preventive intervention to reduce the morbidity and mortality of cervical cancer. If the peripheral conditions are met, then offering this to his or her patients is one of the tasks of the family physician.
  • We recommend using the thin-layer technique.
  • All women between 25 and 64 years of age must be screened every 36 to 60 months unless there are contraindications. Being vaccinated or not makes no difference yet at present.
  • HPV determination is only indicated for some specific indications.
  • Performing a smear test is always preceded by full communication of the risks as regards the disease and the examination. In this way, we combat the primary side-effect of the screening, namely, anxiety.
  • Aberrations are followed up upon in conformity with the present Flemish policy recommendations. They provide protection against the risks of overtreatment.
  • The family physician notes the date of the last, optimal, negative smear in his or her medical file and takes initiatives to see to it that the next smear test is conducted on time.
  • Administered HPV vaccines are registered in Vaccinnet.

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