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How Often Should Women Be Screened for Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a disease that affects the cervix (the lower part of the uterus), and it can lead to serious health complications and even death if not detected early. Regular screenings can help identify cancerous or pre-cancerous cells before they progress.

But how often should women be screened for cervical cancer?

The American Cancer Society recommends that women start getting regular cervical cancer screenings at age 25. Prior to that, it's not necessary to screen for cervical cancer unless you have symptoms or other risk factors. For women between the ages of 25 and 65, the recommended screening interval depends on the type of test being done.


Pap Smear Test

The Pap smear test is a common screening tool used to identify abnormal cell growth in the cervix. It's recommended that women have a Pap smear test every three years between ages 21-29. For women aged 30-65, Pap smear tests are recommended every three years, or every five years for those who have a combination of Pap smear test and HPV (human papillomavirus) testing.

HPV Test

HPV testing is used to detect the presence of the human papillomavirus in the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer. HPV testing is recommended every five years for women aged 30-65, or every three years for women aged 25-29 who have a normal Pap test result.

Both Pap smear and HPV tests

Women aged 30-65 can also choose to have both a Pap smear and HPV test together once every five years. This method is the most effective at detecting cervical cancer early.

It's important to note that guidelines may differ depending on your healthcare provider and your individual health history. Talk to your doctor about the recommended screening schedule for you.

In addition to regular screenings, other factors that can affect your risk for cervical cancer include your sexual history, age, smoking status, and family history of cervical cancer. If you have any concerns about your risk of cervical cancer, talk to your doctor for guidance on screening and prevention.


Cervical cancer is a serious disease that can be prevented with regular screenings and preventative measures. The recommended screening schedule depends on your age, healthcare provider, and individual health history. By staying up-to-date on your screenings and other preventative measures, you can take control of your health and reduce your risk of cervical cancer. Remember to speak with your healthcare provider about the best screening schedule for you and be proactive in maintaining your overall health.