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Get Tested for Cervical Cancer 


The Basics

You can help prevent cervical cancer by getting regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care. A Pap test (sometimes called a Pap smear) is done in a doctor’s office or clinic.

Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular Pap tests. A Pap test can find abnormal (changed) cells before they turn into cancer. Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early, when it usually can be cured.

How often do I need to get tested?
Women ages 21 to 29 need a Pap test every 3 years.

Women ages 30 to 65 need to get screened every 3 or 5 years, depending on how they are tested. 

  • If your doctor or nurse gives you just a Pap test, get screened every 3 years.
  • If your doctor or nurse gives you a Pap test and an HPV test, get screened every 5 years.

If you are age 66 or older, ask your doctor if you need to get tested for cervical cancer.

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