Regular screening can prevent cervical cancer. The screening currently consists of a Pap test (smear test) to look for abnormal cells, which can be done once a year. HPV tests can be used for screening purposes too. They look for human papillomaviruses (HPV), which are the main cause of cervical cancer.
An HPV test is usually done at the same time as a Pap test — a test that collects cells from your cervix to check for abnormalities or the presence of cancer. An HPV test can be done using the same sample from the Pap test or by collecting a second sample from the cervical canal