About 80 million U.S. women ages 25 to 65 should be screened periodically by their health care providers for cervical cancer. At present, the standard way to do that is a Pap smear alone, or co-testing using both a Pap smear and a human papillomavirus (HPV) test.
the clinicians who care for those women are getting new interim
guidance about the health advantages of instead using the HPV test alone
as the primary screen to find cervical cancer or its precursors. Under
the new guidance, the Pap smear, which dates back more than 80 years,
would still be used for follow-up tests if an HPV test is positive. The
Pap smear will still be used for primary screening of women under age
New Recommendation for Cervical Cancer Screening, Using HPV Test Alone