The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is urging pathologists and laboratory professionals to stand up for patient care and oppose a proposal from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).1 The task force is proposing to eliminate its current recommendation of cervical cotesting every 5 years for women aged 30–65. The deadline for comments on the new USPSTF recommendations is October 9.

In responding to the proposed recommendations, ASCP has been working with the members of the Cytology Education Technology Consortium (CETC) to develop a consensus statement outlining the flaws with the USPSTF proposal. In addition to ASCP, members of CETC include the American Society for Cytotechnology (ASCT), the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the International Academy of Cytology (IAC), and the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology (PSC).

The CETC statement reaffirms recommendations outlined in a 2012 guideline developed by ASCP along with the American Cancer Society and American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.2 The ASC/ASCCP/ASCP guideline recommends cotesting using cervical cytology and HPV testing every 5 years as the most clinically appropriate approach for screening women aged 30–65 for cervical cancer.

Instead of cotesting, the USPSTF proposes “screening every 3 years with cervical cytology alone or every 5 years with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing alone in women ages 30–65 years.” ASCP believes the USPSTF recommendation would diminish the quality of patient care for women. A consensus statement from CETC identifies additional problems with the USPSTF recommendations.3

Individuals wishing to comment on the USPSTF proposal should visit its public comment page at


  1. Cervical Cancer: Screening [online]. Draft Recommendation Statement. Rockville, Md: US Preventive Services Task Force, 2017. Available at: Accessed October 6, 2017.
  1. Saslow D, Solomon D, Lawson HW, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(3):147–172; doi: 10.3322/casc.21139.
  1. Letter to the United States Preventive Services Task Force; Response to the New USPSTF Draft Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening [online]. Cytopathology Education and Technology Consortium, 2017. Available at: Accessed October 6, 2017.