Cervical Cancer Screening
Understanding Cervical Cancer Screenings
A Papanicolaou test (commonly referred to as a Pap test or Pap smear) can detect precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix. The goal is to find cervical cancer as early as possible before it is able to develop. Earlier stages of cervical cancer are, in most cases, easier to treat than in stages 3 and 4.
Who should be screened for cervical cancer?
Based on the USPSTF Cervical Cancer Screening recommendations, which Capital Health follows, all females should first be tested at age 21 and follow the below guidelines:
- Ages 21-29 – cervical cytology alone every three years
- Ages 30-65:
- Cervical cytology alone every three years OR
- hrHPV testing alone every 5 years OR
- Co-testing (hrHPV testing and cervical cytology) every 5 years
- Ages 65+ with adequate prior screening – no screening
- Women who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix and do not have a history of a high-grade cervical precancerous lesion or cervical cancer – no screening