Women’s Health Advocates Applaud USPSTF Decision To Retain Co-Testing in Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

Co-testing (a combined Pap and HPV test) has been shown to be the most effective screening strategy for early disease detection.

August 21, 2018


CONTACT: Clare Rizer
(202) 481-8721

WASHINGTON — Today, leading women’s health care organizations expressed support for the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) decision to retain co-testing (a combined Pap and HPV test) in its final cervical cancer screening recommendations:

“Today is a win for women everywhere. We are pleased the USPSTF took the evidence and expertise brought forward by our groups and other leading medical organizations into account when constructing these recommendations and retaining co-testing in its final guidelines for cervical cancer screening. In our combined clinical and patient advocacy experience, we know co-testing saves lives.

Thanks to these evidence-based recommendations, hundreds of health plans will continue to cover co-testing as a preventive health care benefit, meaning women will not have to pay out of pocket for screenings or make the difficult decision to forgo a screening they cannot afford.

We are especially grateful to our partners in Congress for their bipartisan leadership on this important issue. In particular, we wish to thank Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Martha Roby (AL) for initiating awareness of this issue among their congressional colleagues, and to Reps. David Young (IA) and Terri Sewell (AL) for leading the effort to formally raise this issue with HHS Secretary Alex Azar. In addition, Rep. Young continued to press the importance and urgency of this issue, with the support of Rep. DeLauro, via legislative efforts in the House Appropriations Committee.

More than 13,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018, and one-third of women diagnosed will die from the disease. However, with regular preventive screening and access to co-testing, cervical cancer is one of the easiest types of cancers to prevent and, if caught early, is one of the most curable cancers.

Co-testing has been shown to identify 94.5% of all cervical cancers and pre-cancers. In fact, evidence-based guidelines issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Society for Colonoscopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), support co-testing as the standard of care for cervical cancer screening.

We applaud the Task Force for taking the right step for women’s health, which could bring us one step closer to eradicating this terrible disease.”

Black Women’s Health Imperative 



National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health

National Black Nurses Association

National Hispanic Medical Association

National Medical Association

Prevent Cancer Foundation


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