USPSTF Updates Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening


The latest recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force said cervical cancer screening depends on a woman’s age and other factors.

What type of cervical cancer screening should a woman get, if any, and how often? The latest recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) said Tuesday that it depends on a woman’s age and other factors, but those 30 or older have a new option.

The number of deaths from cervical cancer in the United States has decreased since widespread cervical cancer screening began, falling to 2.3 from 2.8 deaths per 100,000 women. Still, 4170 will die from the disease this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Most will not have been adequately screened previously.

To update its 2012 recommendation, the USPSTF reviewed evidence on screening for cervical cancer, looking at clinical trials and cohort studies that evaluated screening with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing alone or together with hrHPV using a cytology-based Papanicolau (Pap) smear, where cells are scraped from the back of the cervix. The 2 tests together are called cotesting.

For women aged 30 to 65, there are 2 options: screening by either a Pap test every 3 years, or a Pap and hrHPV test every 5 years. The recommendation is a slight change from draft guidelines, which recommended that women get just 1 test, instead of a cotest.

To view the full article, published by the American Journal of Managed Care, visit

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