“The goal of screening for cervical cancer is to find
precancerous cervical cell changes, when
treatment can prevent cervical cancer from developing”.1

Umbrella

What may the Cervical Cancer Screening Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Cervical Cancer Early Detection
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Cervical Screening
  • HPV Screening
  • Pap Smear
  • Pap Smear Test
  • Pap Test
  • Smear Test

Definition

What is cervical cancer screening?

Dots the definition of cervical cancer screening may Vary. The (United States) National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) definition is:

“The goal of screening for cervical cancer is to find precancerous cervical cell changes, when treatment can prevent cervical cancer from developing. Sometimes, cancer is found during cervical screening. Cervical cancer found at an early stage is usually easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cervical cancer may have begun to spread, making treatment more difficult”.2

Screening Tests

What are cervical cancer screening tests?

In Cervical Cancer: Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging – Screening Tests for Cervical Cancer the American Cancer Society elaborate on:

“The tests for cervical cancer screening are the HPV test and the Pap test. These tests can be done alone or at the same time (called a co-test) and are done during a pelvic exam”.3

In Cervical Cancer: Screening for Cervical Cancer – Screening Tests the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain:

“The HPV test and the Pap test can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early.

  1. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause cell changes on the cervix
  2. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.

Both tests can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic”.4

In Cervical Cancer Screening: What Is Cervical Cancer Screening? the NCI elaborate on:

“There are three main ways to screen for cervical cancer:

  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) test checks cells for infection with high-risk HPV types that can cause cervical cancer
  • The Pap test (also called a Pap smear or cervical cytology) collects cervical cells so they can be checked for changes caused by HPV that may—if left untreated—turn into cervical cancer. It can find precancerous cells and cervical cancer cells. A Pap test also sometimes finds conditions that are not cancer, such as infection or inflammation
  • The HPV/Pap cotest uses an HPV test and Pap test together to check for both high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes”.5

Start. Frequency. Stop

Can when to start, the frequency and when to stop Pap tests, vary?

Yes. Depending on You (DoY), DotS and/or Depending on Your Country’s (DoYC’s) cervical cancer screening program, when to start, stop and the frequency of Pap tests can vary. It may therefore be in your best interest to choose to check what’s-what for you in your Country.

 

Screening Program

Where may women find information about cervical cancer screening or early detection programs?

Women may find information about cervical cancer screening or early detection programs from their health care provider or their country’s equivalent of a local community health center or a national and/or state Department/Center/Institute of Aging/Cancer/Disease Control and Prevention/Health/Human Services.

Your country may have a program similar to Australia’s, the United Kingdom’s or the United States’ cervical cancer screening or early detection programs.

Find free and low-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings in your area – National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection ProgramScreening Program Example

What is the United States’ cervical cancer screening program?

In National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP): Find A Screening Program Near You the CDC explain:

“CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women who have low incomes and are uninsured or underinsured”.6

Health Care Provider

When may women stop having regular Pap tests?

DoY, DotS and/or DoYC’s cervical cancer screening program, when women may stop regular Pap tests can vary. It may therefore be in your best interest to choose to check what’s-what for you.

In Pap Smear: Who Can Consider Stopping Pap Smears? the (United States) Mayo Clinic note:

“Discuss your options with your doctor and together you can decide what’s best for you based on your risk factors. If you’re sexually active with multiple partners, your doctor may recommend continuing Pap testing”.7

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Cervical Cancer Screening?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Cervical Cancer Screening?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. HPV and Pap Testing: What Is Cervical Cancer Screening? Reviewed: 17 May 2024. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/pap-hpv-testing-fact-sheet#q2 Accessed: 08 June 2024
  2. HPV and Pap Testing: What Is Cervical Cancer Screening? Reviewed: 17 May 2024. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/pap-hpv-testing-fact-sheet#q2 Accessed: 08 June 2024
  3. Cervical Cancer: Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging – Screening Tests for Cervical Cancer. Last Revised: 13 January 2023. American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/screening-tests.html Accessed: 08 June 2024
  4. Cervical Cancer: Screening for Cervical Cancer: Screening Tests. October 2023. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cervical-cancer/screening/ Accessed: 08 June 2024
  5. Cervical Cancer Screening: What Is Cervical Cancer Screening? Updated: 17 May 2024. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/cervical/Patient/page3 Accessed: 08 June 2024
  6. National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP): Find A Screening Program Near You. Last Reviewed: 10 January 2024. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/breast-cervical-cancer-screening/about/screenings.html Accessed: 08 June 2024
  7. Pap Smear: Who Can Consider Stopping Pap Smears? 18 June 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pap-smear/about/pac-20394841 Accessed: 08 June 2024
Topic Last Updated: 08 June 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 08 June 2024

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