(MSNBC) — Most women can go as long as five years between cervical cancer screenings as long as they make sure to get both a Pap smear and an HPV test when they do get examined, a government panel said Wednesday.
The interval between cervical cancer screenings can safely be extended for women between the ages of 30 and 65, according to the new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Women ages 21 to 30 should still get a Pap smear every three years, the interval currently recommended. But those younger than 21 and older than 65 can skip the screen altogether, the experts concluded.
The panel is urging a extended intervals in screenings in an attempt to cut back on the number of women who end up being treated for lesions that might resolve on their own.