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Am J Manag Care. 2000 Jul;6(7):766-80.

Clinical and cost implications of new technologies for cervical cancer screening: the impact of test sensitivity.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Woimen and Infants' Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, USA.



To compare the available techniques for cervical cancer screening, including several new technologies, using actual program utilization patterns.


Longitudinal cohort model.


The model followed a cohort of 100,000 women who underwent screening from age 20 through 65 years. The model was run with a weighted average of screening intervals to model the actual utilization of the cervical cancer screening program in the United States.


The model demonstrated that new technologies with significantly increased test sensitivity have the potential to reduce the number of cancers by 45% to 60% depending on the screening frequency in fully compliant populations. At screening intervals of 2 years or more, these new technologies had cost-effectiveness ratios below $50,000 per life-year saved. Assuming existing utilization patterns, the model predicted there would be 13.2 cancers per year in the 100,000 women screened with the conventional Pap smear, and new technologies with increased test sensitivity could reduce the annual incidence to 9.5 cancers per 100,000 women screened.


The model suggests that to achieve further dramatic reduction in cervical cancer mortality, significant improvements in test sensitivity, as reflected in the new screening technologies, may be the most realistic and cost-effective approach.

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