New Guidelines For Cervical Cancer Screening

October 23, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

October 23, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM EDT

(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.

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