Women aged 30-65 years should be offered a choice between two cervical cancer screening methods, according to draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendations were released on Sept. 12.
The Task Force continues to recommend that women in their 20s be screened every 3 years via cervical cytology, but in a change from the 2012 recommendations, the researchers now advise clinicians to offer women aged 30-65 years a choice of either cytology every 3 years or the high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) test every 5 years as a method of screening for cervical cancer. Cotesting is no longer recommended.
Offering women aged 30-65 years a screening choice received an A recommendation. The draft retains the previous Task Force position and D recommendation against cervical cancer screening for certain groups, including women younger than 21 years, women aged 65 and older with a history of screening and a low risk of cervical cancer, and women who have had a hysterectomy.
The USPSTF based the draft recommendations in part on a review of four randomized, controlled trials of cotesting hrHPV and cytology that included more than 130,000 women.
“Modeling found that cotesting does not offer any benefit in terms of cancer reduction or life-years gained over hrHPV testing alone but increases the number of tests and procedures per each cancer case averted,” the Task Force members noted in the draft recommendation statement. “Therefore, the USPSTF concluded that there is convincing evidence that screening with either cytology alone or hrHPV testing alone provides substantial benefit and is preferable to cotesting” in otherwise healthy women aged 30-65 years.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists currently recommends cotesting with cytology and HPV testing every 5 years or cytology alone every 3 years in women aged 30-65 years ( Obstet Gynecol. 2016;128:e111-30 ).
The USPSTF draft recommendations do not apply to women at increased risk for cervical cancer, including those with compromised immune systems or those who have cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3.
The draft recommendations are available online for public comment from Sept. 12 through Oct. 9, 2017, at the USPSTF website, www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org .