The Future of the Cervical Smear and HPV Test?
Exciting New Research could see Cervical Smear tests providing protection against other gynaecological cancers
It was really interested to read about recent research being conducted at John Hopkins University in the USA that could ultimately see the cervical smear test which tests for HPV (human papilloma virus) and in effect screens for Cervical Cancer - being adapted to enable testing for other gynaecological cancers too such as ovarian cancer. This could be really important as ovarian cancer tends to have relatively low survival rates in part due to generally low levels of early diagnosis.
The researchers found that by using some sophisticated DNA testing techniques on standard cervical smear test samples taken from women known to have other gynaecological cancers, they were able to identify the specific mutations in the DNA associated with the cancers in question. They also found that samples taken from women known to be cancer free found no false positives. Although this is in the very early stages it is encouraging to see researchers using our improved understanding of cancers at the genetic level, to seek to develop practical improvements in our public health work.
Dr Abu Chinwala of Southdowns Private Healthcare said, ' What makes it so promising is that we already have the HPV screening and testing systems in place here in the UK and so if this could be developed to 'piggy-back' on the current system then it could bring a great benefit to many people.'
Cervical cancer is caused by a strain of the Human Papilloma Virus, known as HPV.
If you are worried about cervical cancer or the associated HPV virus then call Southdowns Private Healthcare to arrange for a cervical smear and HPV test in one.
Southdowns Private Healthcare has a female GP available if you would prefer to be seen by a woman. Just ask when you make your appointment. Our consultations take place at the Hampshire Health centre, 97 Havant Road, Emsworth in Hampshire - close to West Sussex. Southdowns Private Healthcare will have the results of your cervical smear results within 3 working days. The NHS standard is 6 weeks.