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ACS issues new guidelines for HPV testing

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Patients ages 25 to 65 should be screened for Human papillomavirus (HPV) every 5 years, according to simplified guidelines issues by the American Cancer Society (ACS). Previous guidelines recommended screening start at age 21.

A Pap test every 3 years or combined cytology and HPV tests (cotesting) every 5 years starting at age 25 is acceptable if primary HPV testing is not yet available.

Women older than the age of 65 with no history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or more severe disease within the past 25 year, should discontinue all cervical cancer screening unless they do not have enough prior negative tests, according to the new recommendations.

The ACS notes that these guidelines are transitional, and once access to full primary HPV testing for cervical cancer is available, screening with cotesting or cytology alone are provided but should be phased.

Read the full recommendations here.


Fontham ETH, Wolf AMD, Church TR, et al. Cervical cancer screening for individuals at average risk: 2020 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. CA-Cancer J Clin. 2020;https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21628.