(FOX 2) - When it comes to screening for one of the most preventable cancers in young women, doctors say women aren't getting the tests they need.
It's being called a disturbing trend when it comes to a cancer screening and young women: doctors are noticing women in their 20s seem to be avoiding a test that will detect cervical cancer early.
"What they found was if you asked the question, 'How many women that are between 21 and 29 have gotten pap smear screening according to the new guidelines?' and the answer is - roughly half," says Cleveland Clinic Dr. Robert Debernardo.
This study looked at data on more than 47,000 women. Researchers found about 65 percent of women over the age of 30 were up-to-date on their cervical cancer screening, but women in their 20s were lagging behind, with only half getting the necessary swab. That's concerning because you want to catch it early and treat it early.
Doctors admit some women may not be getting screened because the new guidelines are a little confusing, but according to the American Cancer Society, from 21 to 29 years old it's every 3 years, and then beginning at age 30 it's every 5 years.
Bottom line is that it's important for all women to see a doctor every year and take charge of their personal health.
"Women need to be empowered to understand that they're responsible, not just for their child, or their husband, or their parent, or their sibling; they're responsible for their own health. And again, going to the doctor should be all that's required. If you show up to your family physician or your gynecologist, you should get the adequate screening," Dr. Debernado says.
He recommends women ask their doctor for paper copies of all screening results, just in case of an unforeseen change in employment or insurance. He says it's helpful to always have your most recent health information in your hands.