Context. - Cervical cancer mortality has declined by 74% in the United States since the implementation of the Papanicolaou (Pap) test. Nevertheless, more than 12 000 US women annually develop cervical cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCa) remains the predominant cervical malignancy. Objective. - To evaluate screening techniques used in the detection of SqCa of the cervix and provide insights regarding which technique(s) is (are) most efficacious in our study population. Design. - We retrospectively reviewed all available cytologic, human papillomavirus (HPV), and histologic malignancy burden data from patients diagnosed with SqCa. The clinical data were collected from 2 geographically and socioeconomically diverse hospital systems. Cases in which identified patients had a Pap test with a negative result/unsatisfactory specimen within 5 years of SqCa tissue diagnosis were considered Pap test screening failures. Cases in which patients were diagnosed with HPV-negative SqCa were considered HPV screening failures. Results. - Eighty-eight cases (patients' ages ranging from 19 to 73 years) were identified. Of those, cytologic history was available for 64 cases present in our electronic medical history record. Three cases were cytology screening failures (one being an unsatisfactory specimen) and 3 cases were HPV screening failures (one being the cytologic unsatisfactory case). Although measuring sensitivity in practice has limitations, we calculated the SqCa detection sensitivity at 95.3% by Pap test alone and 97% when HPV DNA testing was incorporated. Conclusions. - Our results highlight the necessity of combining Pap and HPV testing. Although the number of cases identified is relatively small, our data suggest detection failures will decrease as the practice of combining HPV and Pap testing increases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Medical Laboratory Technology