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Cancer Screening - Pap Test

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

*Comparable data for the United States for "current" with cervical cancer screening recommendations are only available for 2014 and 2016 at this time.
*Due to small sample sizes, data from 2012, 2014 and 2016 were aggregated for Asian/Pacific Islanders and Black/African Americans to produce stable estimates for these groups.

Estimated Percent of Women Age 21-65 Years Who Have Had a Pap Test within the Past Three Years by County, New Mexico, 2012, 2014, 2016

Estimated Percent of Women Age 21-65 Years Who Have Had a Pap Test within the Past Three Years by Health Region, New Mexico, 2016

Estimated Percent of Women Age 21-65 Years Who Have Had a Pap Test within the Past Three Years by Urban and Rural Counties, New Mexico, 2016

Why Is This Important?

The National Cancer Institute states that, based on solid evidence, regular screening of appropriate women for cervical cancer with a Pap test reduces mortality from cervical cancer by at least 80 percent. This is because of all cancers, cervical cancer is one of the most amenable to prevention and early detection through screening. Regular Pap tests can detect pre-cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which, when treated, can stop cervical cancer before it develops. Pap tests can also lead to earlier diagnosis of cervical cancer that may result in more effective treatment.

Definition

Estimated percentage of New Mexican women ages 21-65 years (who have not had a hysterectomy) who have had a Pap test in the past three years. The cervical cancer screening questions are only administered in the BRFSS in even-numbered years. In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated their recommendations for cervical cancer screening. Currently, it is recommended that women ages 21-65 years have a Pap test every 3 years. Women ages 30-65 years could alternatively be screened with a combination of a Pap test and a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years. The BRFSS does not ask whether women have received a combination Pap test and HPV test, therefore the percent of women who are up-to-date for cervical cancer screening may be underestimated.

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
    (https://www.nmhealth.org/about/erd/ibeb/brfss/)
  • U.S. data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Prevalence and Trends Data.
    (https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/brfssprevalence)

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of New Mexican Women ages 21-65 years from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) who reported that they have had a Pap test in the past three years.
Denominator:Number of New Mexican women ages 21-65 years from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

How Are We Doing?

The percent of New Mexican women ages 21-65 years who have had a Pap test in the past three years has declined slightly over the past decade.

What Is Being Done?

The New Mexico Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NMBCCP) is dedicated to improving access to high-quality, age-appropriate cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for low-income women who are uninsured or under-insured, and helping them access resources for treatment when necessary. To do this, the NMBCCP supports changes within provider practices and health systems to increase screening opportunities. In addition, data and surveillance systems, such as monitoring screening quality measures, are used to develop more organized, systematic approaches to cancer screening and to improve service delivery. These approaches are supported by the New Mexico Department of Health and are being implemented by many healthcare organizations and health systems throughout New Mexico. Visit the NMBCCP website at: http://archive.cancernm.org/bcc/index.html

Evidence-based Practices

The NMBCCP supports New Mexico health care providers and health systems in using evidence-based interventions such as patient reminders, risk assessment tools, reducing structural barriers (e.g., expanding clinic hours), provider reminder and recall systems, and provider assessment and feedback on performance. All of these activities have been shown to increase cervical cancer screening rates, and are recommended by The Guide to Community Preventive Services, a collection of evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force, established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Available Services

The New Mexico Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides free cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to New Mexico women ages 21 years and older who lack health insurance and who live at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. More information can be found online at http://www.cancernm.org/bcc/index.html or by calling toll-free 1-877-852-2585.

More Resources

New Mexico Department of Health Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection (BCC) Program (http://archive.cancernm.org/bcc/index.html) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/risk_factors.htm) U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Cervical Cancer Screening website (https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/cervical-cancer-screening) The Community Guide to Preventive Services https://www.thecommunityguide.org/findings/cancer-screening-(multicomponent-interventions-cervical-cancer) The National Cancer Institute (https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/hp/cervical-screening-pdq)

Health Program Information

The NMBCCP endorses the cervical cancer screening recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF has concluded that for women ages 21 to 65 years, there is high certainty that the benefits of screening for cervical cancer (fewer deaths and new cases) outweigh the harms. The current USPSTF recommendations, in place since 2012, state that Pap testing should occur every three years for women ages 21-65 years who have normal screening results. Additionally, women ages 30-65 years may increase their rescreening interval to five years by having an HPV test at the same time as their Pap test (i.e., co-testing) if the results of both tests are normal. Routine screening with Pap tests is not recommended for women younger than 21 years, nor is it recommended for women older than 65 years if they have received adequate recent screening with normal results. Routine screening is also not recommended for women who no longer have a cervix due to a hysterectomy for benign disease. The USPSTF recommendation applies to all women who have a cervix, regardless of sexual history. It does not apply, however, to women who have received a diagnosis of a high-grade precancerous cervical lesion or cervical cancer, women with in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol, or women who are immuno-compromised (such as those who are HIV positive). The USPSTF notes that screening with Pap tests or HPV testing can also sometimes lead to harms, mainly false positive screening results requiring additional diagnostic testing. Adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with treatment of screening-detected disease can also occur, although changes to screening guidelines for young women in recent years have been enacted to minimize this.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 08/21/2017, Published on 11/27/2020
Cancer Prevention and Control Section, Population and Community Health Bureau, Public Health Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 5301 Central Ave. NE, Suite 800, Albuquerque, NM 87108, Telephone: (505) 841-5840. For data inquiries, contact the Cancer Section Epidemiologist, Libby Bruggeman, PhD, MA (email: Libby.Bruggeman@state.nm.us) or the Medical Officer/Epidemiologist, Susan Baum, MD, MPH (email: susan.baum@state.nm.us).