Why HPV Tests May Be Preferable to Pap Smears for Cervical Cancer Screening

Source: Healthline | Published on MSD Connect: October 2020 | HK‐NON‐00162 Oct/2020

The American Cancer Society is now recommending an HPV test every 5 years up to age 65 for cervical cancer screening.

  • New recommendations from the American Cancer Society now emphasize HPV tests over Pap smears for cervical cancer screening.
  • The guidelines also raise the age for initial screening from 21 to 25.
  • Other organizations, however, still recommend Pap smears and keeping the initial screening at 21.

Cervical cancer was once a common cause of cancer death for women in the United States.

That’s no longer true — largely due to increased use of the Pap smear.

These exams detect precancerous cells that can be treated before they develop into cancer.

Since human papillomavirus (HPV) causes nearly all cervical cancers, can HPV testing replace the Pap smear as a screening tool?

Read More