Did you know screening tests can find malignant cells before they can fully turn into cervical cancer? Abnormal cells in the cervix, when left untreated, can change into something potentially life-threatening. With a Pap test, doctors can detect, diagnose and treat the condition before it worsens.
Another screening test that is equally important as a Pap test is the HPV test. This screening seeks to detect the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can also cause abnormal changes in the cells.
Are you aware that HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer? As a sexually transmissible disease, HPV is passed from one person to another during intercourse. In some cases, people contract it but the disease goes away without medical intervention. But if the virus is not eliminated naturally, it triggers the onset of cancer.
However, two new studies revealed that the HPV test is more accurate in detecting cervical cancer than the Pap test. Published in Gynecologic Oncology, a journal dedicated to the subject on cancer, the two studies were discussed, which said an HPV test, as compared to a Pap test, offers more accurate screening results not just for cervical cancer but also for HPV infection.
Lead researcher Dr. Warner Huh of University of Alabama in Birmingham said, “We found that, in patients aged 25 years and upwards, primary HPV testing performed better than a Pap alone, and we recommend that such tests should be carried out no sooner than every 3 years.”
“We believe that primary HPV testing has potential to further reduce cervical cancer in the U.S.,” he added.