About 12,990 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year – and the The Pap Smear remains the gold standard test for cervical cancer detection.
At CHCW, your health is our primary concern. Our providers follow the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and gynecologists) guidelines for preventive care, which are:
Cervical cancer screening should start at age 21 years. (Pap test)
Women aged 21-29 years should have a Pap test every 3 years.
Women aged 30-65 years should have a Pap test and an HPV test (done together) every 5 years. However it is acceptable to do just the Pap every three years.
Women should stop having Pap tests after age 65 if they do not have a history dysplasia (abnormal cells) or cancer and they’ve had either 3 negative Pap tests results in a row or 2 negative co-test (with HPV) results in a row within the past 10 years, with the most recent test being within the past 5 years.
Women who have a history of cervical cancer, are infected with HIV or have a suppressed immune system should not follow these routine guidelines. *
It’s important to note that the guidelines above show that testing for Human Papillomavirus or HVP (which can lead to cancer and infects the genital areas of males and females) – is not recommended for women under age 30. HPV infection is common in younger women, but usually resolves on its own. A positive HPV result in a young women will likely become negative without treatment.
If you have had a hysterectomy, you still need to have cervical/vaginal cancer screening.
We encourage you to schedule your annual exam and stay healthy! Call us with any questions about your health or preventive care. 651-209-6263