Older Women May Have Higher Cervical Cancer Risk Than Previously Thought

AbleStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Older women may have a greater risk of cervical cancer than previously thought.

A new report from the University of Maryland shows that previous rates were based on a population that included women who had had hysterectomies -- and were therefore no longer at risk of cervical cancer.

Dr. Anne Rositch from the University of Maryland School of Medicine says taking them out of the mix shifted the "high-risk" group upwards.

"We previously thought that the peak rate was among middle-aged women, 40 to 45 years old," Rositch said. "But now we see that the peak is actually older, so there continues to be an increase."

"It's really showing us that older women, women 65 to 69, are at higher risk of cervical cancer than we've previously recognized," Rositch said.

Rositch says current guidelines do not recommend screenings for women over 65 if they haven't tested positive before.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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