ACP: Who to Screen for Cervical Cancer and When

May 6, 2015
Veronica Hackethal, MD

The American College of Physicians Best Practices lay out criteria for when to begin screening, screening intervals, and when to stop.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) released the ACP Best Practices for Cervical Cancer Screening in Average-Risk Women1 at the ACP annual conference in Boston on April 30, 2015.Widespread screening has without doubt reduced the mortality associated with cervical cancer and an estimated 89% of the target population of approximately 70 million women report having been screened in the past 5 years. However, the ACP, supported by groups including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Clinical Pathology, declares there is still too much screening going on.In order to minimize potential harm to women and maximize the benefits of cervical cancer screening, the ACP Best Practice Advice, highlighted in this slide show, lays out criteria for:♦ When to begin screening (age 21)♦ Frequency of screening (once every 3 or 5 years)♦ When to stop screening (age >65 years, or history of hysterectomy with removal of the cervix)Source: Sawaya GF, Kulasingam S, Denberg T, et al. Cervical cancer screening in average-risk women: best practice advice from the clinical guidelines committee of the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. Published online on April 20, 2015.