Cervical Cancer At A Glance Media Toolkit

In the United States: 

  • It is estimated that 11,270 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2009, and 4,070 women will die from it.
  • The Pap test can detect abnormal cells before they become cervical cancer.
  • The cervical cancer death rate declined by more than 50% in the past 30 years in the US.
  • The majority of deaths from cervical cancer in the US are among women who are screened infrequently or not at all.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer. Two HPV types—16 and 18—account for 70% of cervical cancer cases.

HPV infection is very common and can be transmitted through sexual contact, even when a condom is used.


ACOG Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening

When to start getting Pap tests?

  • First Pap test at age 21.

How often to get tested?

  • Women ages 21 to 30 need a Pap test every two years.
  • Women over 30 who have had three or more normal annual Pap tests can be screened every 3 years.

When to stop getting tested?

  • Women 65 years old or older can discontinue having Pap tests if recommended by their doctors based on the results of previous tests.
  • Women with total hysterectomy, which was done due to causes other than cancer, can discontinue having Pap tests.











ACOG District II:
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American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998