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What women should know about cervical cancer and HPV testing

by , 29 June 2017
What women should know about cervical cancer and HPV testing
A new study conducted by researchers from the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and University of New Mexico (UNM) Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that women receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) testing may get a more complete diagnosis of possible cervical pre-cancer.

Their findings, which were published in JAMA Oncology, used data from the New Mexico HPV Pap Registry in the United States with over 450,000 women participating. Keep reading for the full story...

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause a number of cancers, including vaginal and cervical cancer...

HPV is a virus tied to vaginal, penile, anal and cervical cancers.
 
According to statistics, around 520,000 cases of cervical cancers are diagnosed worldwide every year, causing around 266,000 deaths.

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Women receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) testing stand a better chance of getting a complete diagnosis of possible cervical pre-cancer

Among the 450,000 women that the researchers looked at, 20,677 (4.5%) received a borderline abnormal result through a Pap smear. The researchers followed these women for five years.
 
As for those with borderline abnormal Pap smear results – they had an HPV test. The researchers said the HPV testing led to a 15.8% increase in the detecting of cervical pre-cancers overall. What’s more, the time to it took to detect the cancer was much shorter.
 
“This study shows that knowing a woman’s HPV status can help determine her likelihood of needing additional procedures and prioritise immediate treatment and medical resources to the women who need them most,” reported Jack Cuzik, a professor from QMUL.
 
The researchers warned that because the effort was an observational study, the use of HPV test wasn’t randomised. This adds to the possibility that there could be socioeconomic or other significant differences among health care facilities that haven’t been measured. For more information on HPV testing and cervical cancer, consult your doctor. 

PS: Another new study found that preventing cervical cancer could be as simple as getting a HPV shot. Read more here.

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