This publication is a critical review of four types of studies looking at screening and cervical cancer. In brief:
There is "no evidence that screening women aged 22–24 reduced the incidence of cervical cancer at ages 25–29 (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.83–1.50)."
"The probability of regression for the entire cohort [of 13-22 year-olds with any lesion or HPV infection] was 61% (95% CI 53–70) at 12 months and 91% (95% CI 84–99) at 36 months’ follow up. Only 3% (95% CI 0.7–6.0) progressed to high grade disease."
"...progression rate [from CIN3 to cancer] within five years of diagnosis can be no greater than 1% per year and is more likely to be around 0.5% per year."
"...for every 100 women treated aged 20–24, at best one case of cancer is prevented that would not have been prevented had screening been delayed until age 25."
"...LLETZ was significantly associated with preterm delivery (relative risk (RR) = 1.70, 1.24–2.35), low birth weight."
"...the evidence published since 2002 shows little, if any, benefit from screening women under 25 as far as the prevention of cervical cancer or of advanced cervical cancer is concerned."
"...the Advisory Committee on Cervical Screening (England) was unanimous in its decision not to lower the age at first invitation from 25 to 20."