New cervical cancer screening guideline by a panel of influential health experts

(ABC News) — It’s an incredible success story.

Cervical cancer rates in the U.S., cut in half over the past 40 years. In large part, that’s thanks to a regular screening test, the pap smear.

But this week, a new recommendation came out from the nation’s top advisory group.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force says research shows that for the average woman over 30, a test for HPV virus every five years is just as good as having pap smear every three years.

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And you don’t need both tests any more.

The goal – fewer tests, just as much protection.

But keep in mind – for younger women, between 20 and 30, a pap smear every three years is still the way to go.

And because your risk may be unique — you and your doctor should talk about how often you should get tested.

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