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ACS Issues Updated Guideline for Cervical Cancer Screening

Screening, preferably with primary HPV testing, should start at age 25 and continue through age 65

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a guideline update from the American Cancer Society, published online July 30 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, recommendations are presented for cervical cancer screening of individuals at average risk.

Elizabeth T.H. Fontham, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., from the Louisiana State University School of Public Health in New Orleans, and colleagues present updated recommendations for cervical cancer screening for individuals at average risk.

The researchers recommend initiation of cervical cancer screening at age 25 years and continuing primary human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every five years through age 65 years; if primary HPV testing is not available, cotesting (HPV testing in combination with cytology) should be performed every five years for individuals aged 25 to 65 years or cytology alone should be performed every three years. All cervical cancer screening should be discontinued for individuals aged >65 years with no history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or more severe disease within the previous 25 years or with documented adequate negative prior screening in the previous 10 years. Differences to the updated guidelines include the preferred screening strategy of primary HPV testing every five years and recommendation to start screening at age 25 years.

“These streamlined recommendations can improve compliance and reduce potential harms,” one coauthor said in a statement. “They are made possible by some important developments that have allowed us to transform our approach to cervical cancer screening, primarily a deeper understanding of the role of HPV and the development of tools to address it.”

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