Clinical Summary

Cervical Cancer: Screening

August 21, 2018

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Population Women aged 21 to 29 years Women aged 30 to 65 years Women younger than 21 years, women older than 65 years with adequate prior screening, and women who have had a hysterectomy
Recommendation Screen for cervical cancer every 3 years with cytology alone.
Grade: A
Screen for cervical cancer every 3 years with cytology alone, every 5 years with hrHPV testing alone, or every 5 years with cotesting.
Grade: A
Do not screen for cervical cancer.
Grade: D
Risk Assessment All women aged 21 to 65 years are at risk for cervical cancer because of potential exposure to high-risk HPV types (hrHPV) through sexual intercourse and should be screened. Certain risk factors further increase risk for cervical cancer, including HIV infection, a compromised immune system, in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol, and previous treatment of a high-grade precancerous lesion or cervical cancer. Women with these risk factors should receive individualized follow-up.
Screening Tests Screening with cervical cytology alone, primary testing for hrHPV alone, or both at the same time (cotesting) can detect high-grade precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancer. Clinicians should focus on ensuring that women receive adequate screening, appropriate evaluation of abnormal results, and indicated treatment, regardless of which screening strategy is used.
Treatments and Interventions High-grade cervical lesions may be treated with excisional and ablative therapies. Early-stage cervical cancer may be treated with surgery (hysterectomy) or chemotherapy.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to