New guidelines suggest women over 25 should get a Pap test every three years, not annually.
A report from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care outlines new guidelines for the procedure used to screen for cervical cancer.
"In 2011, an estimated 1,300 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in Canada, with about 350 deaths. The number of cases of diagnosed cervical cancer increases among women aged 25 years and older, peaking during the fifth decade of life," the report states.
Pap tests can detect early signs of cervical cancer, but regular annual screening starting at age 18 may not be necessary, the report says.
The recommendations are for women without symptoms of cervical cancer, regardless of sexual activity and sexual orientation.
The changes don't apply to screening for human papillomavirus (HPV), alone or in combination with a Pap test, the report states.
— Women under 25 don't need regular screening.
— Women aged 25 to 69, require routine screening every three years, especially those over 30.
— Women aged 70 and over who have had normal results for 10 years may cease regular screening.
— Physicians should monitor a patient's other risk factors to determine if screening is required more than every three years.
Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.