Cervical cancer can be insidious. Changes to the cervix are often detected with a pap smear, but for those with limited access to health care, cervical and vaginal cancers can go unnoticed for years--silently growing, spreading and invading other organs--and by the time they're detected, they may be so advanced that the patient's prognosis is poor and her treatment options few.
The Pap smear test is one of the easiest ways to screen young women for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills thousands of women and if detected early can be treated successfully. A new problem has arisen however with the smear test. Many young women are embarrassed about getting a Pap smear test routinely to screen against cervical cancer.
A new test for cervical cancer was found to detect all of the cancers in a randomized clinical screening trial of 15,744 women, outperforming both the current Pap smear and human papillomavirus test at a reduced cost, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Researchers have uncovered an increased risk of cervical cancer in women whose cervical cells test positive for certain high-risk human papillomavirus types but do not show any signs of cellular abnormalities.
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have found that mailing self-collection kits to test for high-risk human papillomavirus infection has the potential to boost cervical cancer screening - especially for low-income women who are overdue for testing.