For the value of HPV screening for cervical cancer in the USA
The April 2, 2009 Issue of the New England Journal of Medicine includes a report of a study recently concluded concerning the value of HPV screening for cervical cancer in rural India.
HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. The current standard of practice in the United States requires that all women be tested for the presence of this virus in cells removed from the cervix.
When such testing is positive in an individual that individual is at a much higher risk of going on to develop cervical cancer over time than an individual whose HPV testing is negative.
In rural parts of India where the standard of practice is no screening of any kind for cervical cancer, a single HPV test followed by treatment of all persons whose tests are positive for the virus, resulted in a 60% reduction in persons developing advanced cervical cancer compared to women not benefiting from the test.
All women need to be vigilant and informed about appropriate screening for cervical cancer as death from the disease can be virtually eliminated by receiving appropriate screening, Pap smears, HPV testing and proper management of those women whose screening shows the presence of cervical abnormalities.