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Cervical Cancer Screening: Increased Risk

Women at increased risk have a higher chance of getting cervical cancer than women at average risk. The exams you get and how often you are tested depends on what puts you at increased risk for cervical cancer.

Women at increased risk include those who have:

If you fit one or more items from the list above, you should follow one of the screening schedules below. These guidelines are for women without any cervical cancer symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible.

History of Cervical Cancer or Severe Cervical Dysplasia

  • Get a liquid-based Pap test every year after treatment for cervical cancer or severe cervical dysplasia for at least 20 years

Persistent HPV Test  

Women with persistent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) tests should speak with their doctor about diagnostic testing for abnormal cells.

DES and Suppressed Immune Systems 

Women with diethylstilbestrol exposure before birth, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or an immune system that does not function properly should follow the screening schedule below:

  • Get a liquid-based Pap test every year

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Women with HIV should get a liquid-based Pap test twice in the first year after their diagnosis and then continue screening every year.

All women should continue annual well-woman check-ups with a health care provider even during years when a Pap test is not required. Women who have received the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine also should follow the above screening guidelines. 

These screening guidelines apply to women who are expected to live for at least another 10 years. The guidelines are not for women who have a health condition that would make it hard for a health care provider to treat cervical cancer or pre-cancer.

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For Physicians

Use our flowchart to determine cancer screening recommendations for patients. 


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center