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Longer Screening Intervals Possible With HPV-Based Tests

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A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden finds that testing for human papilloma virus (HPV) allows for longer time between screening tests when compared to cytology-based testing. The study is published in the scientific journal British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Cervical screening programs have until recently relied on cytology to identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer. However, it has long been known that testing screening with human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA tests has a higher sensitivity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), the lesion that the program intends to find since it can progress to cervical cancer if left untreated. Until now, it has been unclear whether HPV-based screening results in overdiagnosis of lesions that would not have progressed to cancer. Also, it has not been clear whether, if implemented, the screening interval could be prolonged when using HPV-based screening.

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