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NHS England rolls out more sensitive cervical screening test

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A new and more sensitive cervical screening test has the “potential” to eliminate cervical cancer, NHS England said.

The test looks for traces of high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and any tests that are HPV positive are then checked for abnormal changes of the cervix.

It is already launched across the country since December and is part of the NHS Long Term Plan goal to catch tens of thousands of more cancer cases earlier.

Jo Churchill, Public Health Minister, said: “Thousands fewer women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer as a result of improved screening services and the HPV vaccine and it’s incredible to think that cervical cancer could be eradicated for good.”

A Public Health England report, published today, shows that the number of HPV infection decreased to very low levels since the introduction of HPV vaccination in 2018.

The combination of HPV vaccine’s effectiveness and the new test has the “potential to eliminate cervical cancer,” NHS said.

Professor Anne Mackie, Director of Screening at Public Health England, added: “With HPV vaccinations for all year 8 pupils and HPV testing available nationally, cervical cancer promises to become very rare indeed. This is a truly momentous achievement, but to ensure we consign this disease to the past we must keep vaccination rates high and continue to provide safe and acceptable screening for all women.”

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