Society of Gynecologic Oncology

View all recommendations from this society

Released October 31, 2013

Don’t perform colposcopy in patients treated for cervical cancer with
radiation unless high-grade changes are present.

Colposcopy for low-grade abnormalities (e.g. positive high-risk HPV test or Pap showing low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion) in patients treated with radiation for cervical cancer does not detect recurrence unless there is a visible lesion and is not cost effective.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) created a “Cost of Care” workgroup in response to the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely® campaign. Workgroup members are comprised of the Society’s clinical practice committee that is made up of gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other allied health providers. A literature review was conducted to identify areas of overutilization or unproven clinical benefit and areas of underutilization in the presence of evidence-based guidelines. The workgroup then evaluated these data and presented a list of five topics to the membership of the clinical practice committee and then to the SGO Board of Directors for approval. The five selected interventions were agreed upon as the most important components for women with gynecologic malignancies and their providers to consider.

SGO’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at


Rimel BJ, Ferda A, Erwin J, Dewdney SB, Seamon L, Gao F, DeSimone C, Cotney KK, Huh W, Massad LS. Cervicovaginal cytology in the detection of recurrence after cervical cancer treatment. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;118:548–53.

Tergas A HL, Guntupalli SR, Huh WK, Massad LS, Fader AN, Rimel BJ. A cost analysis of colposcopy following abnormal cytology in posttreatment surveillance for cervical cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 2013.