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Cervical Cancer Screening

Why Cervical Cancer Screening is Important?

Cervical cancer screening aims to detect pre-cancer cells (cells that have the potential to become cancerous in future) and prevent invasive cervical cancer from developing. It is traditionally done with a pap smear only, though recent developments have shown that combining a pap smear with an HPV DNA test (i.e. co-testing) can more accurately predict the chances of having pre-cancer cells or cervical cancer than a pap smear alone. HPV vaccines and regular screenings, such as Pap smears and HPV tests, are essential for early detection and prevention of cervical cancer.

A group of women walking together on a sidewalk.

How Often Should Cervical Cancer Screening Be Done?

Under the National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme, the frequency of screening should be:

  • Age 25 – 29: Pap smear once every three years
  • Age 30- 69: HPV DNA test every five years for a previous negative HPV test

Why is HPV DNA not recommended for women below 30?

HPV DNA tests are not usually recommended for women below 30 years old as women in this age group are known to have a high incidence of transient HPV infection (the body clears the infection on its own). Women aged 25 to 29 should, however, continue with a pap smear once every three years, as recommended by the Cervical Screen Singapore Advisory.

Do I Need to Do Any Preparation Before Screening?

The tests for cervical cancer screening can be done anytime, but preferably not when you are menstruating.

Cervical Cancer Screening

  • Pap Smear
  • HPV DNA Test
  • HPV Vaccine
  • Colposcopy
  • Punch or Cone Biopsy

Incorporated in 2005, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) is a healthcare organisation with a network of private specialist providers across four established pillars - Aesthetics, Diagnostic Imaging & Screening, Oncology and Women's & Children's Health. Within Singapore, SMG has more than 40 clinics strategically located in central Singapore and heartland estates. Beyond Singapore, SMG also has an established presence in Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia. Learn about our privacy policy here.

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