Cervical Cancer:

For women under the age of 21:

  • Screening procedure: No tests should be done.
  • Any kind of test for cervical cancer should start after the age of 21.

For women between the ages of 21 and 29:

  • Screening procedure: Pap test every 3 years.
  • Additional Screening procedure: They may do a HPV test if the Pap test result is abnormal. But it is not mandatory

For women between the ages of 30 and 65:

  • Screening procedure: Pap test

This is the best way for women of this age group. So these tests should be done every 5 years. But a Pap test every 3 years is also acceptable.

For women over the age of 65:

  • Screening procedure: Following 10 years of screening, if the results continue to be normal then further testing is no longer needed. But if a women has a severe history of cervical pre-cancer than it is mandatory that she continues to keep doing routine tests for at the very least 20 years after the initial diagnosis. This must be done even if her age goes above 65 years.

Women who should not be tested for cervical cancer:

  • All women under the age of 21.
  • Women whose cervix and uterus has been removed (if they have no history of cervical cancer or any other pre-cancers.)

Besides these, all women vaccinated against HPV should still adhere to the screening procedures of their age group. Another thing to remember is that if a woman has a distinct health history (such as HIV infection, DES, Organ transplant, exposure etc.) the above mentioned screening procedures may not be appropriate and she is highly recommended to talk to a health care provider regarding their history.

Taking Pap Smear