Current guidelines for cervical cancer screening

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Purpose:To provide evidence-based information that will guide nurse practitioners in instituting the most current cervical cancer screening recommendations.Data sources:A literature search covering the years 2006 to the present conducted through Medline, CINAHL, and OVID.Conclusions:Human papillomavirus (HPV) cervical infections are highly prevalent among females under 21 years, yet this age group has a low incidence of cervical cancer. For young women, 90% of HPV infections regress in 24 months, and, in longitudinal studies, no invasive cervical cancer was detected. HPV co-testing is effective for women age 30 and over.Implications for practice:Current scientific evidence supports initiating cervical cancer screening for immunocompetent women at age 21, biennial screening between ages 21 and 29, and HPV DNA co-testing for women over 30. Nurse practitioners play an important role in integrating the newest guidelines into practice and improving the quality of healthcare regarding women's cervical health and cancer prevention.

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