Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Genetic test to Screen for Cervical cancer - whose benefit?

A genetic test to screen for cervical cancer is an exciting development. However, at a time when cost is  central  to providing equitable, affordable and accessible care, it is unfortunate that the FDA approved the genetic test without a comparative judgment. There are important questions that should be answered before the Pap test that has been so effective in shrinking the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer is replaced by a more expensive but possibly no more effective test. If, as mentioned in Monday's editorial, the cost will be twice that of a Pap test, will it detect that many more cancers? Will its increased cost discourage women, particularly of lower socioeconomic status, to avoid screening? Without answers to these questions, among others, how will we know if the genetic test is a major advance for women’s health or an advance for the well being of its producers? 

No comments:

Post a Comment