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New Guidelines on Cervical Cancer Screening

August 23, 2018

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued new guidelines aimed at improving women's odds against cervical cancer. Published in JAMA, the new cervical cancer screening guidelines suggest that "some women can get a test that looks for" HPV (human papilloma virus) in order to "reduce 'false alarms' that lead to invasive follow-up tests and unnecessary treatment."

Dineo Khabele, MD, Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, The University of Kansas Cancer Center"The new cervical cancer guidelines confirm that most cervical cancers are caused by HPV. Proper cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination could potentially eliminate cervical cancer, which is a devastating disease," said Dineo Khabele, MD, Gynecologic Oncology Director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

The recommendation says screening should begin for women age 21-29 with “a Pap test” every three years, which they may continue from age 30 to 65, or “they can get screened every five years with a test that looks for the high-risk types of HPV that cause cervical cancer” or get both tests every five years. 

The Women’s Cancer Center focuses solely on breast and gynecologic cancers and improving the delivery of cancer care. Learn more.  


In June 2018, The University of Kansas of Cancer Center partnered with 69 other National Cancer Institute (NCI) -designated cancer centers to issue a Call to Action. The goal is to eliminate HPV-related cancers in the United States starting with cervical cancer.

Roy Jensen, MD“HPV vaccination completion rates across the United States remain low,” said Roy Jensen, MD, director of KU Cancer Center. “In fact, Kansas and Missouri have some of the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the country and this is simply unacceptable. As the only NCI-designated cancer center in the region, it is our responsibility to help improve these statistics.”

In the following video, Dr. Jensen speaks to the goal of preventing 12,000 cervical cancers and nearly 40,000 other HPV-related cancers through the NCI Call to Action.

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