Hologic (NSDQ:HOLX) — a major company in the Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing space — is criticizing the American Cancer Society over new cervical cancer screening recommendations that prefer simply doing HPV tests every five years.
“Although all the screening tests are good at finding cancer and pre-cancer, primary HPV testing is better at finding them than a Pap test done alone. Plus, primary HPV testing does not lead to more follow-up tests for abnormal areas that turn out to not to be pre-cancer,” Sandy McDowell, senior editor of research at ACS, explained in a July 30 blog post.
“In the US, the expectation is that over time fewer people will have a co-test or Pap test alone as the primary HPV test become more widely available.”
Hologic in a July 31 statement said it was “disappointed” by the new guidelines — noting that the cervical cancer rate has fallen by more than 70% since the Pap test was introduced over 50 years ago. The company pointed to a study published July 8 in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology that demonstrated that the use of HPV tests alone testing misses twice as much cervical cancer as co-testing with both Pap and HPV.
The new ACS recommendations diverge from the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, according to Hologic.
“We are absolutely shocked by the American Cancer Society’s new cervical cancer screening guidelines. Why in the world would we take away choices for women?” Kevin Thornal, president of diagnostic solutions at Hologic, said on LinkedIn.