Experts clarify best intervals, ages for cervical cancer screening

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – The American College of Physicians (ACP) has released best practice guidelines to reduce overuse of cervical cancer screening for average-risk women, including what ages screening should start, stop and how many years to wait between each test. “Guidelines recommend not screening prior to age 21, screening no more frequently than every 3 years and ending screening among low-risk women,” said Dr. George F. Sawaya of the University of California, San Francisco Center for Healthcare Value, who coauthored the new guidelines. Low-risk women do not have a history of previous precancerous lesions or cervical cancer, an HIV infection, previous organ transplantation or uterine exposure to a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol. At age 30, this can be combined with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test and performed every five years until age 65.
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