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October 20, 1999

Cost-effectiveness of Methods to Enhance Sensitivity of Papanicolaou Testing

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(15):1419-1420. doi:10.1001/jama.282.15.1419

To the Editor: Mr Brown and Dr Garber1 present an interesting model evaluating the cost-effectiveness of new methods for improving cervical cancer screening. Principles of public health practice suggest that the best screening programs are those involving relatively common conditions that can have a significant impact on quality of life and for which there are acceptable, available, and affordable tests and treatments.2 New technologies claim to enhance the sensitivity of the Papanicolaou (Pap) test and increase the likelihood that a precancerous lesion will be detected in a single visit. This is particularly important in high-risk underserved areas where annual screening visits can be difficult to achieve.

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