Abnormal Cervical Cancer Screening Test and Cancer Precursors
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: April 1, 2020
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) for abnormal cervical cancer screening test and cancer precursors. It is limited to adults 18 years of age and older and should not be used as a reference for children.
- Cervical cancer can be prevented with immunization and appropriate screening.
- Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
- We will use the abbreviation HPV throughout this summary to refer to the human papillomavirus.
- This patient summary sets standards for cancer prevention in the United States.
- Available cervical screening strategies:
- HPV screening
- Cervical cytology (Pap smear)
- Both HPV screening and cervical cytology
- The risk of cervical cancer is calculated from test results and previous precancer treatment.
Note: Colposcopy examines the cervix through a magnifier and takes a biopsy of suspicious tissue.
- Colposcopy with biopsy is performed at a risk level determined by ASCCP Colposcopy Standards.
- ASCCP: American Society Of Colposcopy And Cervical Pathology
- HPV: Human Papilloma Virus
Perkins RB, Guido RS, Castle PE, Chelmow D, Einstein MH, Garcia F, Huh WK, Kim JJ, Moscicki AB, Nayar R, Saraiya M, Sawaya GF, Wentzensen N, Schiffman M; 2019 ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines Committee. 2019 ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines for Abnormal Cervical Cancer Screening Tests and Cancer Precursors. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2020 Apr;24(2):102-131. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000525. Erratum in: J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2020 Oct;24(4):427. PMID: 32243307; PMCID: PMC7147428.
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.