a new test to replace the smear



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/ Sex / Health Cervical cancer, soon a noninvasive test to replace the smear?

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Researchers are looking to develop a new test to track cervical cancer. This would be much less invasive than a spot, feared by many women.

To detect cervical cancer, a smear is necessary. However, this exam is often feared and seen as a test for women, who therefore tend to want to delay the visit to the gynecologist. To encourage more people to do it regularly, physicians and researchers are looking for new tests, and a University of Manchester team would be on the right track.

In a study BJM OpenBritish researchers reported having developed a urine test, which would be just as effective as the traditional smear to detect cervical cancer. They asked 104 women to perform a urine test at home. They had the equipment they needed to do this alone, thanks to a strip designed to reveal the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus responsible for that disease. According to them, this noninvasive exam was as effective as that performed by a gynecologist.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Emma Crosbie, believes that this is a major step forward. "We are very excited about this research, which we believe has the potential to significantly increase the rate of screening for cervical cancer,, she says, quoted by the BBC. It gives examples of campaigns that encourage women to be examined, and which tend to work, but in the short term: "the effects do not continue over time and the numbers tend to decline a bit later, we clearly need a more sustainable solution."

However, it will probably take a few more years to see this test in the market. In fact, Emma Crosbie specifies that larger-scale research should be performed to confirm the effectiveness of this urine test and receive marketing authorization from health authorities.

Read also: Papillomavirus: boys and girls soon all vaccinated?

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from Mélodie Capronnier

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