• Choosing Wisely®

    Screening for Cervical Cancer in Women Younger than 30 Years of Age


    Don’t screen women younger than 30 years of age for cervical cancer with HPV testing, alone or in combination with cytology.


    The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Commission on the Health of the Public and Science (CHPS) recently reviewed the changing literature and guidance around the appropriate testing and screening intervals for cervical cancer screening. Since there is uncertainty around the effectiveness and safety of human papillomavirus (HPV) screening alone, this recommendation has been labeled as under review.

    Currently, the Society for Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) recommends primary HPV screening every three years as an alternative for women 25 years and older. In their latest practice bulletin, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not have a recommendation for primary HPV testing, but they do address it as an option. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) currently recommends against screening for cervical cancer with HPV testing (alone or in combination with cytology) in women younger than 30 years (D recommendation).This recommendation is under review.

    About Choosing Wisely®

    The Choosing Wisely®  campaign was created as an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to improve health care quality. More than 70 specialty societies have identified commonly used tests or procedures within their specialties that are possibly overused.

    Learn more about the AAFP support of the Choosing Wisely® campaign.

    This recommendation is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about this recommendation or their individual situation should consult their physician.