06 Nov 2019
Until now cervical cancer screening involves having a vaginal speculum examination to take a smear to identify abnormal cells under a microscope. This involves a visit to Drs surgery or to a Gynaecologist and internal examination. Some women feel nervous about vaginal examination due to fear of discomfort. This and other factors led to reduced uptake of cervical smear screening.
Recently a novel approach to cervical screening has been proposed. This involves a home DIY urine test to screen cervical cancer. This test is based on the detection of HPV virus on urine specimen. HPV virus causes almost all cervical cancers. By detecting the presence of high risk HPV virus in the urine, it has been proposed to identify those at high risk for developing cervical cancer. Preliminary studies have shown encouraging results and many experts believe it could be a game changer for cervical cancer screening. Even though preliminary studies have shown promising results, it needs further larger trails to confirm its effectiveness before it can be implemented fully in cervical screening programme. If it proves to be effective by larger trails, many experts believe it will revolutionise cervical cancer screening altogether. Women can then perform cervical cancer screening by this simple DIY urine test in the comfort of their own home. Experts believe this test will help to increase cervical screening uptake among women, even though it will take at least few more years to introduce this in to national screening programme.