Cervical cancer screening: Evidence behind the guidelines

Brittany F. Lees, Britt K. Erickson, Warner K. Huh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Cervical cancer screening involves a complex process of cytology, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, colposcopy, and a multitude of algorithms for the identification of preinvasive disease and prevention of invasive disease. High-risk HPV is a prerequisite for the development of almost all types of cervical cancer; therefore, a test for high-risk HPV has become an integral part of new screening strategies. Major changes to screening guidelines in the last decade include initiation of screening at age 21 years, conservative management of young women with abnormal cytology, extended screening intervals for women age ≥30 years, and cessation of screening in low-risk women at age 65 years. This review will focus on the evidence that has led to the current evidence-based guidelines. Evidence regarding primary HPV testing as well as postvaccine-based screening strategies will also be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • cervical cancer screening
  • colposcopy
  • cytology
  • human papillomavirus testing
  • human papillomavirus vaccine

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