Although cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in American women as recently as the 1930s, both the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer have decreased by almost one half since the early 1970s, largely as a result of widespread screening with the Pap test. However, the annual incidence rate has remained at approximately 8 cases per 100,000 women over the past few years. New technology for performing cervical cytology is evolving rapidly as are recommendations for classifying and interpreting the results. The purpose of this document is to provide a review of the best available evidence on screening for cervical cancer. Specific equipment and techniques for performing cervical cytology and interpretation of the results are discussed elsewhere.