Description: Update of the 2003 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation statement on screening for cervical cancer.
Methods: The USPSTF reviewed new evidence on the comparative test performance of liquid-based cytology and the benefits and harms of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing as a stand-alone test or in combination with cytology. In addition to the systematic evidence review, the USPSTF commissioned a decision analysis to help clarify the age at which to begin and end screening, the optimal interval for screening, and the relative benefits and harms of different strategies for screening (such as cytology and co-testing).
Recommendations: This recommendation statement applies to women who have a cervix, regardless of sexual history. This recommendation statement does not apply to women who have received a diagnosis of a high-grade precancerous cervical lesion or cervical cancer, women with in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol, or women who are immunocompromised (such as those who are HIV positive).The USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer in women aged 21 to 65 years with cytology (Papanicolaou smear) every 3 years or, for women aged 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval, screening with a combination of cytology and HPV testing every 5 years. See the Clinical Considerations for discussion of cytology method, HPV testing, and screening interval (A recommendation).The USPSTF recommends against screening for cervical cancer in women younger than age 21 years (D recommendation).The USPSTF recommends against screening for cervical cancer in women older than age 65 years who have had adequate prior screening and are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer. See the Clinical Considerations for discussion of adequacy of prior screening and risk factors (D recommendation).The USPSTF recommends against screening for cervical cancer in women who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix and who do not have a history of a high-grade precancerous lesion (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3) or cervical cancer (D recommendation).The USPSTF recommends against screening for cervical cancer with HPV testing, alone or in combination with cytology, in women younger than age 30 years (D recommendation).