It is recommended that women, once they reach age 21, should start receiving cervical cancer screening. For women between the age of 21 to 29, regular pap smears are recommended every 3 years.
Starting at age 30, a routine screening is recommended every 3 years and should continue up until the age of 65. (This is provided that testing does not reveal abnormal results.)
Women who are over 65 years of age with a normal pap history typically may stop undergoing cervical cancer screenings so long as they have not had any significant pre-cancers.
By identifying signs of cancer very early, a pap smear serves to eliminate the risks that any pre-cancer or cancer cells might spread to other areas of your body. This critical identification can help to increase your chances of recovery and cancer survival.