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When should you get tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV) relative to cervical cancer screening?

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After age 30, you should also get tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV). It’s the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and it causes almost all cervical cancers. If you test positive for HPV, that doesn’t mean you’ll get cervical cancer -- but doctors think you have to have HPV to get cervical cancer.

You can get an HPV test with your Pap test, known as co-testing. If you're over age 30, doctors recommend you get both tests every 3 to 5 years.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "How is cervical cancer diagnosed?" "How is cervical cancer staged?" "HPV and HPV Testing." "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "What Should I Know About Screening?"

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Cervical cone biopsy."

MD Anderson Cancer Center: "Cervical Cancer Diagnosis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Colposcopy."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pap test."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "How is cervical cancer diagnosed?" "How is cervical cancer staged?" "HPV and HPV Testing." "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "What Should I Know About Screening?"

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Cervical cone biopsy."

MD Anderson Cancer Center: "Cervical Cancer Diagnosis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Colposcopy."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pap test."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

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