Who should be screened for cervical cancer?

Updated: Feb 12, 2019
  • Author: Cecelia H Boardman, MD; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Current screening recommendations for specific age groups, based on guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), are as follows [1, 2, 3, 4] :

  • < 21 years: No screening recommended

  • 21-29 years: Cytology (Pap smear) alone every 3 years

  • 30-65 years: Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cytology cotesting every 5 years (preferred) or cytology alone every 3 years (acceptable)

  • >65 years: No screening recommended if adequate prior screening has been negative and high risk is not present

See Workup for more detail.

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