You bring up a very interesting question, and there seems to be disagreement between certain organizations in the country, including the National Cancer Institute, NIH, and US preventative task forces when it comes to gynecologic cancer screening.
There does not seem to be a need for an annual pap smear after the age of 65 since the incidence of cervical cancer is extremely rare in this age population.
Routine mammography seems to be recommended up to age 80 years of age.
Bone scans or Dexa scans do not need to be repeated on an annual basis to screen for osteoporosis, unless there is evidence of osteoporosis or the patient is undergoing treatment for osteoporosis.
If the ovaries have been removed, you do not need to get screened for ovarian cancer by physical examination or other modalities.
Having said that, there is a condition called peritoneal cancer which develops from the lining inside the abdomen. This cancer behaves similar to ovarian cancer. There is no screening for peritoneal cancer. Warning signs are abdominal bloatedness, nausea vomiting and abdominal pain. In addition, there is always a risk of developing vulvar cancer. The initial symptoms are itching and burning of the external genitalia. A gynecologist may be able to perform biopsy if indicated to exclude vulvar cancer.
— Dr. Ali Ghomi
Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OB/GYN services.
Dr. Ghomi sees patients at the M. Steven Piver, M.D. Center for Women’s Health & Wellness in Buffalo.
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