ACS’s Updated Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Explained
, by NCI Staff
Routine cervical cancer screening is very effective for preventing cervical cancer and deaths from the disease. On July 30, the American Cancer Society (ACS) published an updated guideline for cervical cancer screening. The guideline’s recommendations differ in a few ways from ACS’s prior recommendations and those of other groups. Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., explains the changes in an interview with staff from the NCI Cancer Currents Blog.
How have the cervical cancer screening recommendations changed?
The American Cancer Society’s new guideline has two major differences from previous guidelines. One is to start screening at a slightly older age, and the other is to preferentially recommend a type of screening test called an HPV test.
ACS recommends cervical cancer screening with an HPV test alone every 5 years for everyone with a cervix from age 25 until age 65. If HPV testing alone is not available, people can get screened with an HPV/Pap cotest every 5 years or a Pap test every 3 years.
These recommendations differ slightly from those given by ACS in 2012 and by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2018.