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HPV screening trial recommended

Cervical disease screening came under scrutiny when the UK National Screening Committee met last month.

The committee recommended trialling HPV testing as the primary screen for cervical disease as opposed to smear tests.

A pilot would aim to see whether the use of HPV testing leads to better outcomes for women, while minimising over-treatment and anxiety and examining how practical it would be to roll out on a national scale.

Such a scheme would be developed by the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

National Screening Committee director Dr Anne Mackie said: “Part of the remit of the UK NSC is to look at how new tests, of proven effectiveness, can best be introduced to existing programmes.

“This is a good example of a new approach that could further improve an already successful screening programme. HPV testing may better indicate which women are at risk of cervical cancer”.

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