(WKBW/ABC News) Cervical cancer has declined more than 50% in the United States over the past thirty years because of increased screening.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has made a big change in its cervical cancer screening guidelines. It now says women between the ages of thirty and sixty-five should get pap tests -- accompanied by screening for the human papilloma virus -- only once every five years.
The College continues to recommend getting a pap test every three years for women between twenty-one and and twenty-nine and no cervical cancer screening for women under age twenty-one --even those who are sexually active, but the College says these women should be vaccinated against the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer.
And just because women don't need a pap test every year, that does not mean they should put off seeing their gynecologists for other health reasons.