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Cervical Cancer Screening in Women Ages 30 and Older

Know the Facts

  • All women should have regular visits with a health care provider to stay healthy.
  • Cervical cancer is caused by a common virus called HPV. Anyone who ever had sex can get HPV.
  • Most cervical cancer can be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
  • The Pap test—either alone or with the HPV test—is the best way to find early signs of cervical cancer.
  • Right now there is no HPV test for men. HPV is as common in men as in women, but it is easier to find in women.
  • If you get an abnormal test result, be sure to follow up as told by your doctor.
  • Most women who get abnormal Pap test results or who have HPV do not get cervical cancer—as long as they follow their doctor’s advice for more tests or treatment.

Screening for cervical cancer using an HPV test along with the Pap test is optional for women ages 30 years old and older.

If you are 30 years old or older, your Pap test is normal, and your HPV test is negative, you can wait 5 years before being tested again for cervical cancer.