New guidelines: HPV test is option instead of Pap smear for older women

The Pap smear has long been the gold standard for cervical cancer screening, but an expert panel now says the human papillomavirus, or HPV, test is also an option for women over 30. These women now have three choices under new recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF):

An HPV test alone every five years, HPV is a virus known to cause cervical cancer.
Both tests every five years. The task force also recommended a Pap test alone every three years for women between the ages of 21 and 29.

"It's very important for all women to get screened for cervical cancer. Screening can reduce deaths from cervical cancer," said Dr. Douglas Owens, vice chair of the USPSTF.

Read more: