“The goal of cervical cancer screening is to find pre-cancers that are likely to progress to cancer and to remove or treat them before they do. Screening can also find cervical cancer at an early stage, when it is easier to treat.” –American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society (ACS) updated their guidelines for cervical cancer screening. The new guidelines are for people with a cervix with an average risk of cervical cancer.
Recommendations by ACS:
- Aged 25 to 65- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years.
- Co-test every 5 years- Combination of HPV test and Pap test
- Pap test alone- every 3 years
- Get screened regularly- no matter which method you choose
- Age 65 with cervix- stop being screened- as long as you have had 10 years of regular screenings with normal results.
- Hysterectomy- no need to be screened unless it was done for cancer reasons
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer linked to HPV. Most people do not have symptoms of HPV, so getting screened is important to catching cancer cells early.
The Pap test looks for changes in cervical cells. The HPV test looks for the infection itself. Lower your chances of HPV by getting vaccinated.