New Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Tests
According to the new guidelines, women should have their first screening for cervical cancer at age twenty-one. Women younger than thirty should be screened every two years instead of annually as recommended in the 2003 guidelines. Also, women thirty years of age or older can be examined once every three years.
The guidelines also say that women can stop having Pap tests between sixty-five and seventy if they have three or more negative tests in a row and no abnormal test results in the last 10 years.
The changes do not apply to women with certain health problems that could make them more prone to aggressive cervical cancer, including HIV infection or other condition that would lead to a suppressed immune system.
ACOG also recommends that women who have been vaccinated against HPV should follow the same screening guidelines as unvaccinated women.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 11,270 new cases of cervical cancer and 4,070 deaths from it in the US in 2009.