The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

Wait longer between pap smear tests: Doctors


(REUTERS) - Most women can wait three to five years between pap smear tests to screen for cervical cancer, according to guidelines released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

The latest recommendation, which appeared in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is in line with earlier sets of recommendations, marks a further shift away from annual pap smear testing, which was once the standard advice.

Now ACOG and the other groups say most women aged 21 to 29 should have a pap smear test no more than every three years.

For women ages 30 to 65, the best option is to have a pap smear test, along with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV), every five years. Otherwise, a Pap test alone every three years is "acceptable".