New urine test could detect cervical cancer
Pap smears. They’re not exactly what you’d call ‘pleasant’, but they’re oh so necessary as a means to detect cervical cancer. The good news? They could soon be replaced with a simple urine test!
Yep, 14 studies into a new urine test for the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) found it successfully identified 87 per cent of cases of the virus.
The new test was also 73 per cent effective in detecting the two high risk strains of HPV that cause the majority of cervical cancers.
A study published in the British Medical Journal shows the more traditional Pap smear test has a 98 per cent accuracy rate, while the team of researchers responsible for the new study stress their findings should be interpreted with caution due to “variation between individual studies”.
However, given that only 57 per cent of Australian women aged 20 to 69 years currently have a Pap smear test every two years like they’re supposed to, the non-invasive urine test is being promoted as an acceptable alternative.
We say: if the urine test gets more women to the doctor, bring it on!
Do you get regular Pap smears? Would you be interested in having a urine test instead?