Cervical Cancer Screening in Adolescents (Women <21 years of age)

The American Society of Cytopathology endorses the screening of women for cervical cancer as well as vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV). Vaccination and screening optimally occur in two distinct populations; vaccination in sexually naïve individuals and screening for those with persistent oncogenic HPV. Women less than 21 years of age often have transient HPV infections and a negligible rate of invasive cervical cancer. Screening in this population may lead to overtreatment and subsequent harm to the patient. In young sexually naïve women, vaccination is the primary objective, with delay of screening until an age when morphological abnormalities or HPV detection represents significant risk for development of cervical cancer. The American Society of Cytopathology endorses screening for women who are at risk for cervical cancer, using the Papanicolaou test, or other appropriate technologies in conjunction with HPV vaccination to prevent, detect and reduce cervical cancer.

Approved by the ASC Executive Board July 2009