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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”



HPV Test Used for Early Detection of Cervical Cancer
by Sarah Albert

An abnormal -- and ambiguous -- Pap smear can now be followed by a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) to better detect cervical cancer, and avoid unnecessary biopsies, according to new research. This may be an effective way to decrease the number of biopsies performed on women with a benign HPV infection, one that does not cause cancer. Results of the study are published in the February 21st issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Almost 3,500 women with abnormal Pap results were randomly assigned one of three methods for managing the abnormal Pap. The women were either given:

Dr. Diane Solomon and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland found that repeat Pap smears, which detected about 85 percent of cancers or precancers, while the HPV test caught 96 percent of cancerous conditions.

Two other articles about cervical cancer and HPV were also published in the issue.

Updated: Thursday, February 22nd 2001