Know Your Guidelines – Cervical Cancer Screening

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Stay in step with current national guidelines with Med-Challenger Guideline Knowledge Checks.

Today’s Guideline Knowledge Check question comes from the desk of Med-Challenger Internal Medicine Editor-in-Chief, Paul F. Griner, MD, MACP.

Based on current United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommendations …

Have the recommendations for cervical cancer screening recently changed?

Yes or No?

Try this review question and find out if you’re following the most current guideline.

Guideline Review Question

The former (2012) United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended screening for cervical cancer every 3 years via cervical cytology (Pap smear) alone for women ages 21 to 29 years. For women ages 30 to 65 years the recommendation was for screening every 3 years via cervical cytology alone or every 5 years via a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. The 2012 task force recommended against screening for cervical cancer in women less than age 21 years. It also recommends against screening women older than age 65 years for cervical cancer if they had undergone adequate prior screening and were not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer.

A revised set of recommendations for cervical cancer screening was published in 2018. How have they changed from the 2012 screening recommendations?

Answers:
In women age 30 to 65 years, the 2018 USPSTF recommends screening every 3 years for cervical cancer either via routine cervical cytology (Pap smear) or testing for high-risk papillomavirus (hrHPV)

In women age 30 to 65 years, the 2018 USPSTF recommends screening every 3 years for cervical cancer via routine cervical cytology (Pap smear) or every 5 years via testing for high-risk papillomavirus (hrHPV)

In women age 30 to 65 years, the 2018 USPSTF recommends screening every 5 years for cervical cancer via routine cervical cytology (Pap smear) or every 5 years via testing for high-risk papillomavirus (hrHPV)

In women younger than 21 years, the 2018 USPSTF recommends screening every 5 years for future cervical cancer risk via testing for high-risk papillomavirus (hrHPV)

Answer Explanation & References:


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About the Author:

Paul Griner MD, MACP graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. He returned to Rochester as Chief Resident in Medicine and Hematology Fellow and remained in their Department of Medicine, rising to Professor. He served as a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School and consultant at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he introduced a mentoring program for the faculty of General Internal Medicine.

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