BBC Health News. Published online: 4 July 2016
Illustration showing an artists interpretation of a Cervical cancer cell
The NHS in England is introducing a “superior” test for cervical cancer, following a successful pilot programme. Experts say it is a switch that could pick up an extra 600 cancers a year.
Women invited for a routine smear test will now automatically be checked for an infection called HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which has been strongly linked to cervical cancer. Until now, an HPV test has only been done if doctors noticed abnormal cells in the smear sample.
Public Health Minister for England Jane Ellison said: “These changes are a breakthrough in the way we test women for cervical disease. The new test is more accurate, more personal and will reduce anxiety among women.
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