New HPV testing guidelines for women

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ST. LOUIS – A new report published by a pair of leading medical organizations is paving the way for doctors on how best to integrate primary HPV testing into the care of their patients until several medical societies update their evidence-based guidelines for cervical cancer screening.

Dr. Stewart Massad, a Washington University physician at Siteman Cancer Center, visits Fox 2 News in the Morning to discuss the report’s recommendations, which are as follows:

- Primary HPV testing can be considered for women starting at age 25.
- Women under age 25 should continue to follow current guidelines that recommend cytology alone beginning at age 21.
- Women with a negative primary HPV test result should not be retested again for three years. This is the same screening interval recommended under current guidelines for a normal cytology test result.
- An HPV test positive for HPV 16 and 18, two types associated with a higher risk of future disease, should be followed with colposcopy, a test that allows the doctor to examine the cervix under illumination and magnification.
- A test that is positive for HPV types other than 16 and 18 should be followed by reflex cytology testing.