Washington, DC—Lisa Hollier, M.D., M.P.H., president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); Warner K. Huh, M.D., president of ASCCP; and Carol L. Brown, M.D., president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), released the following statement regarding the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) final recommendation statement on cervical cancer screening:
“The leading professional organizations representing physicians who screen for and treat women with cervical cancer thank the USPSTF for including multiple strategies to screen for cervical cancer in its final recommendation statement. Over the past 30 years the incidence of cervical cancer in the United States has decreased significantly due to widespread screening. With prevention and early detection of cervical cancer the number of women dying from the disease has also dramatically decreased.
“Largely in line with ACOG, ASCCP and SGO clinical guidance, the USPSTF recommends that providers screen for cervical cancer in women ages 21 to 29 years every three years with cervical cytology, more commonly known as the Pap test. For women ages 30 to 65 years, the Task Force recommends screening with the Pap test alone every three years, screening with the high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) test alone every five years or screening with both tests together (cotesting) every five years.
“With a number of screening options now available, the new guidelines emphasize the importance of the patient-provider shared decision-making process to assist women in making an informed choice about which screening method is most suitable for them. However, more importantly, there needs to be a continued effort to ensure all women are adequately screened because a significant number of women in the country are not. It’s also essential for women to have access to all of the tests and that they are appropriately covered by insurance companies.
“We hope the USPSTF recommendations foster more discussions between patients and providers about cervical cancer screening, promote opportunities for patient education on the benefits and safety of HPV vaccination for cervical cancer prevention and encourage providers to offer HPV vaccines in their offices.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. www.acog.org
ASCCP is a professional society for an interdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives and researchers, who are focused on improving lives through the prevention and treatment of anogenital and HPV-related diseases. For more information visit www.asccp.org.
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) is the premier medical specialty society for health care professionals trained in the comprehensive management of gynecologic cancers. As a 501(c)(6) organization, the SGO contributes to the advancement of women’s cancer care by encouraging research, providing education, raising standards of practice, advocating for patients and members and collaborating with other domestic and international organizations. www.sgo.org