HPV DNA Testing Can Accurately Detect Cervical Cancer
When a woman reaches the age of 40, she will be at risk of contracting cervical cancer. This disease is primarily caused by the Human papilloma virus or HPV. It is transmitted through sexual contact. HPV doesn’t necessarily start out or develop into cancerous cervix cells. However, this disease will usually persist for a long period and can eventually lead to cervical cancer.
Recent studies show that HPV DNA testing is actually more accurate in detecting cervical cancer compared to traditional Pap smear. Looking at the statistics, an HPV DNA test was able to detect about 95% of cases while a Pap smear only detected 55%, both having tested the same participants.
However, it is necessary to point out that this particular DNA test would still need a sample to be collected from the cervix. This test will not suffice as a blood test. That needs to be emphasized, because news reports that have been coming out pertaining to this particular DNA test does not clarify the extent of this procedure.
At present, though, an HPV DNA procedure is being performed together with the traditional Pap smear. But it is also worth mentioning that an HPV DNA testing procedure costs more than the traditional Pap smear – almost $90 compared to $20. One more thing, even women who have received HPV vaccinations are still recommended for screening since there is actually more than one cancer causing strain that is not yet covered the HPV vaccine.
With regard to cervical cancer, early detection is still the best defense against the disease. It is for this reason that women are recommended to undergo tests that could rule out the chances of having cervical cancer. Pap smear is probably the most common test to detect cervical cancer and as mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, it is the most affordable test. It is done by collecting cells from the cervix for examination under the microscope.
An HPV test involves testing and typing. An HPV DNA test is able to detect the presence of the most common high-risk HPV types.
In conclusion, cervical cancer, just like any other cancer, with early detection and treatment, has a greater chance for an individual to get rid of the disease for good.