Alternative to Pap Smear May Improve Women's Health in Developing Nations
Two recent studies from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that an existing test for human papillomavirus (HPV) could replace the Pap smear as a cancer screen in women over the age of 35.
The authors of a study conducted in South Africa noted that over half of the U.S.'s cervical cancer patients had not been screened within the last 3 years, and indicate that access to Pap smear cancer screening in developing nations is extremely limited. The HPV test is done on self-administered swabs from the cervix, while the Pap smear is conducted on cells scraped from the cervix by a health care provider.
While researchers noted that the HPV test can produce more false positives than the Pap smear, they stressed the ease and wider accessibility of the HPV test. The use of the HPV test as a cancer screen could dramatically lower the death rates from cervical cancer in regions where pelvic examinations along with the Pap smear are unavailable.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Health Report, Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 283 No. 1 and Nando Times - January 5, 2000
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .