HPV Testing and Cervical Cancer Screening: Questions Women Should Ask Their Doctor

August 2, 2011

Questions to help you begin the conversation about HPV and HPV testing with your doctor. These can help determine if HPV testing is right for you.

Below are some questions to help you begin the conversation about HPV and HPV testing with your doctor. These can help determine if HPV testing is right for you.

  • -Do you provide HPV testing as part of management of abnormal Pap test results? 
  • -Are you familiar with the new American Cancer Society guidelines that offer a preliminary recommendation, pending FDA approval, that HPV DNA testing may be used in conjunction with the Pap test, to safely screen women age 30 and over for cervical cancer as frequently as every three years?
  • -How do you screen your patients for cervical cancer?
  • -When should I be screened next for cervical cancer?
  • -Are you aware of the new Consensus Guidelines published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (in April 2002) that recommend HPV testing as the preferred approach for managing women with inconclusive Pap results, particularly when a liquid-based Pap test is initially used for screening?
  • -If I have an inconclusive Pap test result, can you ask the laboratory to perform an automatic ("reflex") HPV test from the same Pap sample before calling me with the results?
  • -Can I talk with you about additional questions I may have regarding HPV and cervical cancer?