Recommendations on Screening

  • By 2025, all European country cancer plans should include actions towards achieving a minimum 70% screening target, if not already achieved.

  • By 2030, at least 70% of women in Europe should have been screened for cervical cancer with an appropriate high-precision HPV test within the last five years. This coverage should be reached, at minimum, at 35 and 45 years of age, as part of an organised population-based programme. HPV screening programmes should take into consideration innovations such as self-sampling in respect to their potential for achieving higher rates of screening, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In support of screening goals, EU guidelines on integrated HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening should be regularly updated. A third edition of evidence-based guidelines should be developed by 2021/2022 to take account of recent developments in HPV testing technologies (which are now capable of identifying high-risk infections that are present and active with both high accuracy and high specificity73) and to maximise the benefits for women and health professionals.

  • More research is needed into improving the early detection of non-cervical cancers caused by HPV. This effort should be supported under the aegis of the EU Cancer Mission and Horizon Europe research programme.

  • Progress on improving and widening access to HPV testing should be monitored by a European Cancer Dashboard.