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HPV testing is
more effective than Pap tests

HPV testing is
more effective than Pap tests

Tests for the presence of human papillomavirus are more effective at detecting early warning signs of cervical cancer in women under age 35 than standard Pap tests, according to a study in the July issue of the journal LancetOncology, Reuters Health reports. Italian researchers studied nearly 12,000 women ages 25 to 34 to gauge the effectiveness of Pap tests--followed by a colposcopy if the Pap indicated the presence of abnormal cells--and of an experimental HPV test that looks for infection with strains of the virus linked to the development of cervical cancer. Positive HPV tests included a follow-up with a cervical cell examination to detect the presence of precancerous lesions. The HPV test was shown to be more effective in detecting precancerous cells, and had fewer false-positive diagnoses than standard Pap screenings. The researchers say their findings may indicate HPV screenings should be offered to women under the age of 35 in addition to or in place of standard Pap tests. (The Advocate)

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