Benefits of HPV primary screening

Using HPV triage and test of cure, in addition to cytology, means that fewer follow-up tests are needed; reducing the number of repeat cervical screenings that a woman needs to have [1]. Research has shown that testing first for high-risk HPV and then following with cytology (to check if there are any cervical abnormalities) could reduce the number of follow-up tests that women would need to go for even further [2].

Furthermore, research also shows that a negative HPV primary screening result (no high-risk HPV has been found) is a more reliable sign that a woman will not go on to develop cervical abnormalities than a ‘normal’ cytology result is. This means that in the future, with HPV primary screening, there could be a longer gap between cervical screening appointments, making them fewer and further between [3].

It is estimated that, when fully implemented, HPV primary screening could prevent an additional 487 cases of cervical cancer a year [4].

 

References

  1. Kitchener HC, 2015. HPV primary cervical screening: time for a change. Cytopathology 26, 4–6.
  2. Castanon A et al., 2013. How much could primary human papillomavirus testing reduce cervical cancer incidence and morbidity? Journal of Medical Screening 2013, 1–5.
  3. Kitchener HC et al., 2009. ARTISTIC: a randomised trial of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in primary cervical screening. Health Technology Assessment 13(51) 1–164.
  4. Castanon A et al., 2016. By how much could screening by primary human papillomavirus testing reduce cervical cancer incidence in England? Journal of Medical Screening (Epub ahead of print).
Date last updated: 
07 Jul 2016
Date due for review: 
08 Jul 2019

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