Comment: Alternative cervical cancer tests will see a rise in future screening participants

1st May 2019

In response to the news reported this week that urine tests could bring an end to cervical cancer’s “smear fear”, Assistant Litigation Executive, Hayley Millington believes a screening alternative will see a rise in future screening participants.

Hayley said: “The news surrounding the recent study of urine testing for the HPV virus is to be welcomed.

“It is no secret that the number of women attending for the screening has dropped significantly in recent years, which is surprising as cervical screening can prevent 75% of cervical cancers by detecting early abnormal cell changes before a cancer develops.”  

New figures show that smear testing attendance is as low as 71% and every single year, 3,000 women across the UK will be diagnosed with cervical cancer.

The percentage means as many as several million women across England have not yet tested for cervical cancer for at least three and a half years.

A recent trial has however been successful in establishing that urine testing for the HPV virus (cervical cancer) can also detect cervical cells.

Hayley continued: “This is a huge positive step in advanced research and it is great to see that researchers are looking into different methods to test for cervical cancer which will put an end to the “smear fear”.   

“It is extremely sad that young women are worried about the screening process which prevents them from going ahead with it.

“As a young adult myself, I believe that urine testing would lead to a significant increase in the number of women taking part in the screening.

“The urine test will take less time, less discomfort and even more importantly, no embarrassment as this can be done at home by a self-test.”

In an effort to de-stigmatise cervical screening, numerous Celebrities and campaigners have tried to encourage more women to be tested and some pilot studies have already asked if women would be prepared to test at home.

Hayley concluded: “The research is ongoing and I hope to hear more positive news soon.   

“Of course, another way to reduce the number of women suffering from cervical cancer would be to reduce the lower age limit of 25.

“Perhaps a urine test would be a simple, effective and relatively cheap method of allowing this.”  

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