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October 6, 2004

Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women Without a Cervix—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(13):1550-1552. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1551-c

In Reply: Drs Dandolu and Harmanli are correct that the use of self-reported data are likely to have led to an overestimate of screening, a limitation that we acknowledged in our article. However, this limitation affects neither our finding that the 1996 US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation had no impact, nor our conclusion that millions of women are being screened unnecessarily. Their observation that physicians may sometimes perform a Pap smear because they are unaware of the indication for a woman’s hysterectomy is probably true. However, their suggestion that the Pap smear may be a good way to bring women in for general preventive health care strikes us as poor justification for the continued use of a test without value.

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