The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at risk for certain diseases or conditions.
Cervical cancer deaths have decreased over 50% in the last 30-40 years thanks to early detection and treatment. This is mostly due to increased availability of Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing.
If you are a healthy woman without prior cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 (CIN 2) or higher, many professional organizations recommend:
Pap tests may be recommended more often if you have abnormal results or certain conditions, such as:
Talk to your doctor about the right screening schedule for you.
Screening tests to help detect cervical cancer include:
Cervical cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114831/Cervical-cancer. Updated June 5, 2017. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Cervical cancer screening (PDQ). National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/patient/cervical-screening-pdq. Updated April 14, 2016. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Saslow D, Soloman D, Lawson H, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(3):147-172.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP Last Updated: 11/17/2015