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Screening for cervical cancer

Sarah Feldman, MD, MPH
Annekathryn Goodman, MD
Jeffrey F Peipert, MD, PhD
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Joann G Elmore, MD, MPH
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


Cervical cancer screening has decreased the incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer. Methods for screening include evaluation with the Papanicolaou (Pap) test (cytology) and testing for high-risk types of human papilloma virus (HPV). This discussion will focus on recommendations for screening in developed countries, including appropriate ages for the initiation and discontinuation, frequency, and screening methods.

Techniques for performing screening tests, interpretation of tests, management of abnormalities, and screening women who are HIV positive are discussed separately, as is cervical cancer screening in resource-limited countries.

(See "Cervical cancer screening tests: Techniques for cervical cytology and human papillomavirus testing".)

(See "Cervical and vaginal cytology: Interpretation of results (Pap test report)".)

(See "Cervical cytology: Evaluation of atypical and malignant glandular cells".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Aug 30, 2016.
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