Do You Know When Women Should Get Screened for Cervical Cancer?

This graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains which screening tests women should use at different ages to prevent cervical cancer or catch it as early as possible.

The Pap test helps to prevent cervical cancer by finding abnormal cells that can be treated before they turn into cancer. The Pap test can also find cervical cancer in its early stages, when it is easier to treat.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks to see if you have been infected with the virus that causes these abnormal changes in cells on your cervix.

When should women get these tests?

  • Ages 21-29: Get your first Pap test at age 21, then again every 3 years as long as you have normal test results.
  • Ages 30-64: If you have had normal Pap test results, then you have a choice:
    • Keep getting a Pap test every 3 years
    • Or get both a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years
  • You can stop getting Pap tests when you turn 65 if you have had normal test results for many years.
  • You can also stop getting Pap tests if you have your cervix removed.

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