New Pap Testing Guidelines

Last Modified: January 4, 2010

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

What exactly are the guidelines for pap testing now?


Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

The new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend screening for cervical cancer

  1. to start at age 21
  2. between the ages of 21 and 29, women should have paps every 2 years
  3. after the age of 30, women who have had 3 consecutive normal paps can have pap testing every 3 years.

Women with risk factors (HIV infection, immunosuppression due to organ transplant, those who were exposed to DES in utero, and those who have a history of mild to moderate dysplasia) should continue to have yearly paps.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Women’s Health in the News. View the entire transcript here.

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