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Indicator Report - Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap)

Why Is This Important?

Cervical cancer is one of the most curable cancers if detected early through routine screening.

Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with high-risk types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine protects against the HPV types that most often cause cervical cancer. Women who have had an HPV vaccine still need to have routine Pap smears because the vaccine does not fully protect against all the strains of the virus and other risk factors that can cause cervical cancer.

HPV is transmitted through sexual contact. Any woman who is sexually active is at risk for developing cervical cancer. Other risk factors include giving birth to many children, having sexual relations at an early age, having multiple sex partners or partners with many other partners, cigarette smoking, and use of oral contraceptives.

Cervical cancer screening should begin about three years after a woman begins having intercourse but no later than 21 years of age. Cervical screening should be performed every year with conventional Pap tests or every two years with liquid-based Pap tests. Beginning at age 30, women who have had three normal test results in a row may undergo screening every two to three years.

Percentage of Women Age 18+ Who Reported Having Had a Pap Smear in the Past Three Years by Race, Utah, 2010 and 2012

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Data Notes

To reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS has changed survey methodology. It began conducting surveys by cellular phone in addition to landline phones. It also adopted "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) as its weighting method. The data used in creating this graph was calculated using the new weighting methodology.

Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population based on 3 age groups: 18-34, 35-49, and 50+.

Data Sources

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health.

Other Views


The proportion of women 18 years or older who reported having a Pap test in the last three years.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: The proportion of women 18 years or older who reported having a Pap test in the last three years.
Denominator: The total number of female survey respondents aged 18 or older excluding those who responded "don't know" or "refused" to the numerator question.

Page Content Updated On 08/07/2014, Published on 08/08/2014
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Thu, 02 July 2015 10:33:48 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 8 Aug 2014 15:33:46 MDT