Thursday, March 15, 2012

New US Recommendations for Cervical Cancer Screening

This week the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced new recommendations for Pap tests to screen women for cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) have collaborated to publish screening recommendations that have been released this week as well. Both the task force and the collaborative groups reviewed scientific literature and came to similar conclusions. A major change in recommendations by the USPSTF since last fall includes supporting the use of HPV testing in women over 30 as an adjunct to a Pap test for cervical cancer screening. It is hoped that the updated guidelines and new consensus among major groups about cervical cancer screening intervals will lead to less confusion for health care providers and the public. Highlights of the new guidelines include:

  • Women should start screening at age 21
  • Women aged 21 to 29 should get a Pap test (conventional or liquid-based) every three years.
  • For women aged 30 to 65 who would like to lengthen the screening interval, screening with a pap and HPV test every 5 years is appropriate.

Come on ladies, who isn’t jumping for joy!?

For more information contact Jennifer Walsh, WWC Nurse Consultant, at

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