Cervical Cancer Screening


Get cervical cancers screenings regularly

  • A Pap test and/or HPV test are the best ways to find cervical cancer early so that it can be treated successfully. Through the Pap test, a health care provider can check for abnormal cells and cancer cells on the cervix. The HPV test looks for the virus that is the main cause of cervical cancer.
  • Risk of developing cervical cancer increases with age, especially in women past childbearing years. Cervical cancer screenings are important because a woman usually doesn’t have any signs or symptoms of cervical cancer.

How often do I need to get screened? 

Two tests are widely used to screen for cancer in the cervix: the Pap test can find abnormal cells early, before they turn into cancer and the HPV test looks for the virus that is the main cause of cervical cancer.

  • All women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) at age 21.
  • Women ages 21 to 29, should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing should not be used for screening in this age group unless it is needed after an abnormal Pap test result.
  • Beginning at age 30, women should be screened with a Pap test combined with a HPV test every 5 years as long as the test results are normal. This is called co-testing and should continue until age 65. It is also a reasonable option for women ages 30 to 65 to get tested every 3 years with only the Pap test.

Benefits of Screening 

  • Pap tests can find cell changes or precancerous lesions that have developed on the cervix. HPV tests can find the virus that is the main cause of cervical cancer. Abnormal cells and lesions on the cervix can be treated before cancer develops. 

What services are covered by Women's Way?

Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 40 through 64 for:

  • Pap test every three years or every five years with combination of Pap test and HPV testing for women who want to lengthen the screening interval.
  • Annual Pap tests for high-risk populations which include women with exposure in utero to diethylstilbestrol or those who have HIV or weakened immune system who require more frequent screening.
  • Pap tests for women with total hysterectomies with removal of the cervix due to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2 or 3 or cervical cancer.
  • Repeat Pap tests needed for follow-up of an abnormal Pap test.
  • Cervical diagnostic services such as colposcopies and biopsies.

Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 21 through 39 for:

  • Pap test, if due or past due for screening according to the current USPSTF Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines – has not had a Pap test within the last 3 to 5 years.
  • Pap test as a follow-up to a previous abnormal result.
  • HPV test (women ages 21-29) only if the woman has had a documented abnormal Pap test and HPV test is indicated according to the ASCCP guideline.
  • HPV test (women ages 30-39) as part of co-testing along with Pap test or if needed due to an abnormal Pap test result.
  • Cervical diagnostic services