Monday, November 26, 2007

New test to detect Human Papilloma Virus

By Marthe van der Wolf
26 November 2007


A new test that is used for cervical cancer is able to detect the presence of the cancer-producing virus causing cervical cancer in women. The test has to decrease the mortality rate through ‘more accurate and earlier detection’.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has about 100 types. Some of those types can cause cell changing, which can lead to cancer. The virus is present in eight out of ten women and thus the most common sexually transmitted disease. In developing countries it is the most common cancer.

The new test, which is recommended internationally, is more expensive than a Pap smear but Lancet Laboratories says with its 100 percent sensitivity, it enables women to take the test at considerably longer intervals.

"That makes this test a far better option for women who may only be tested once in a lifetime, which would be a more realistic case in developing countries," says Jason Penrose of the Lance Laboratories.

Lance Laboratories adds that safe sex is still the best way to prevent anyone from getting the HPV virus.

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