Harvard Health Letter

You may not need a Pap smear

A number of health organizations have revised screening guidelines for cervical cancer. It’s based on evidence that annual Pap smears do not catch more cancers, but often lead to more invasive diagnostic procedures that can cause complications. Women ages 21 to 65 are now advised to get a Pap smear every three years. Women ages 30 to 65 can prolong screening to every five years if they get a test for human papilloma virus with it. Screening is not recommended for women 65 and older who’ve had normal Pap tests for several years, and not for women at any age who’ve had their cervix removed as part of a hysterectomy.
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