Cervical Cancer Screening Update

US Preventive Services issues draft cervical cancer screening recommendations

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It's difficult to keep up with the ever-changing world of cervical cancer screening guidelines. New recommendations have been drafted and are now available for review.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued draft recommendations regarding new cervical cancer screenings guidelines. This document will be available for review and comment from October 19 to November 19, 2011.

"Decide with your doctor the best cervical screening guidelines for you."

These are the  USPSTF draft recommendations:

  • Screenings with cytology (Pap smear) should be performed every three years for women 21 to 65 years old who have had sexual intercourse and have a cervix.
  • Screenings are NOT recommended for women younger than 21, regardless of sexual history.
  • Screenings are NOT recommended for women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of all reproductive organs) because of benign disease.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing - either alone or with Pap smear - are NOT recommended for women under the age of 30.
  • There is insufficient evidence to recommend HPV testing, alone or with Pap smear, for women older than 30.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issues makes recommendations regarding preventive healthcare services for patients who have no signs or symptoms of the condition.

These recommendations are based on a thorough and systematic review of evidence relating to the benefits and harms of a service, and determines an overall net benefit. 

Visit the links below to review the full set of recommendations and the evidence behind these proposed guidelines.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 19, 2011
Last Updated:
October 20, 2011