New guidelines for cervical cancer screenings

ABC News' Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses the American Cancer Society’s recommendation for when to start getting screened for cervical cancer as well as when to begin HPV testing.
2:09 | 07/30/20

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Transcript for New guidelines for cervical cancer screenings
A penny for your thoughts. We turn to our "Gma" cover story and those new guidelines for cervical cancer just announced this morning. Among the biggest changes the American cancer society now recommending that screening start at age 25 instead of age 21. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is back and will tell us more. Tell us about these new guidelines and why the change now? Reporter: Robin, this is about the virus, HPV that causes the majority of cervical cancer, basically these changes are about less actually being more when it comes to women's health. We've learned a lot about HPV how it goes on to cause cancer. The new recommendations just released by the American cancer society. Recommending now that pap smear screenings start at age 25 instead of 21 and that HPV testing, that's the same test, but it's a DNA test for the virus, start at age 25 instead of age 30. Now, we have to be very clear. Acog, the college of American obstetricians and gynecologists make it clear this does not mean that women do not need to go to a gynecologist for their well woman care because ob/gyns take care of the whole woman and not just a body part. I know you wanted to stress that. Remind people why HPV, the vaccinations and the screenings are so important for women and for men too for that fact. So important. This vaccine against HPV has been out for over 15 years. It has dramatically reduced the incidence of cervical cancer and precancer and HPV related cancers, about 40,000 cases in the United States every year, the vaccine is now approved for men and women up to age 45 and I spoke to the head of oncology at memorial sloan-kettering in new York who calls this vaccine one of the single greatest advances in the history of cancer. So it is really important. That is quite a statement, Jen. All right. Thank you so much. Good to see you again.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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