Urine test could help screen for cervical cancer

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 20 2002 12:00 AM ET

A urine test that screens for the human papillomavirus could help doctors detect early signs of cervical cancer among female patients, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. HPV has been linked with about 90% of all cervical cancers. Lead researcher Joeli Brinkman and colleagues at Louisiana State University reported that an experimental polymerase chain reaction-based urine assay is as effective as currently available tests that use swabs to collect cervical cells in identifying HPV infection. "These data provide preliminary support for the proposal to use urine testing as a primary or secondary screening tool for cervical cancer in HIV-positive women or as an epidemiological tool," Brinkman and colleagues concluded.