Study: Recommends longer cervical cancer screening intervals following negative HPV tests

A new study in the 'Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that women who have had five years or more of clean pap tests and HPV screenings, may be able to wait five years until their next one.

The study authors say that most HPV infections in women happen in the first ten years of sexual activity.

'Results showed that after each successive negative co-test screening round, the 5-year risk for cervical cancer diminished (0.098%, 0.052% and 0.035%). Regardless of the cytology result, the 5-year risk for cervical cancer after an HPV-negative co-test was similar to the performance of a negative co-test for each consecutive screening round (0.114%, 0.061% and 0.041%).'

And since older women tend to be in more stable relationships it may be ok for them to go longer between screenings.

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