Wow, this is incredible! If true, this would be waaaay less painful than a traditional Pap Smear!
For most women under 65, a visit to the gynecologist often includes an unpleasant necessity: a Pap smear to check for cervical cancer risk.
The test involves letting a doctor or nurse scrape cells from the back of the cervix which are visually inspected for signs of abnormality.
There’s a simpler way to screen for cervical cancer risk, by directly testing for the human papillomavirus or HPV, which causes 99 percent of cervical cancer. A study published in JAMA Tuesday suggests that method might be preferable for women aged 30 and over.
The FDA approved the first HPV test in 2014, which tests vaginal and cervical secretions (which can be gathered with a swab) for the presence of the HPV virus.
The new study, called the HPV FOCAL trial, compared the HPV test to traditional Pap smear screening among 19,000 Canadian women over four years. It adds to a body of research suggesting that HPV testing might be more accurate.