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HPV Home Tests Could Identify Cancer Risk

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HPV self-testing is as effective as tests done by doctors, according to a Lund University study. Simple HPV home tests could therefore complement existing screening programmes, and identify more women at risk for cervical cancer.

Sweden has a system of regular gynaecological smear tests, which has halved the number of cases of cervical cancer. Most of the patients who die from the disease are therefore either above the screening age, or part of the 20% who fail to attend their screenings. The figures are similar in other countries with equivalent screening programmes.

“We are usually able to cure cases of cancer that are identified through smear tests. For those women who have not been for smear tests, the cancer has progressed considerably further by the time it is diagnosed. It is these women who are at risk of dying from the disease”, says Dr Lotten Darlin at Lund University in Sweden.

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