OBJECTIVES: To identify the correlates between risk perceptions and cervical cancer screening among urban Malaysian women. METHOD: A cross-sectional household survey was conducted among 231 women in Petaling Jaya city in 2007. The association of risk perceptions of cervical cancer and screening practice was analyzed using Poisson regression. RESULTS: 56% of the respondents ever had a Pap smear test. Knowledge of signs and symptoms (aPR=1.11, 95% CI=1.03-1.19), age (aPR=1.02, 95% CI=1.01-1.03), number of pregnancies (aPR=1.06, 95% CI=1.01-1.11), marital status, education level and religion were found to be significant correlates of Pap smear screening. Respondents who were never married were less likely to have had a Pap smear. Those who had no education or primary education were less likely to have had a Pap smear compared to those with degree qualification. The prevalence of screening was significantly higher among Christians and others (aPR=1.35; 95% CI=1.01-1.81) and Buddhists (aPR=1.38; 95% CI=1.03-1.84), compared to Muslims. CONCLUSION: Eliminating anecdotal beliefs as risks via targeted knowledge on established risk factors and culturally sensitive screening processes are strategic for increasing and sustaining uptake of Pap smear screening versus current opportunistic screening practices.