Cervical Cancer Risk: Are At-Home HPV Tests Reliable?

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Mail-in, at-home kits to test for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection can help improve cervical cancer screening, especially in women who are overdue for testing, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill. Results of this study were published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The research involved 193 low income women ages 30 to 64 who were overdue for cervical cancer screening according to recommended guidelines — that is, they had no history of cervical cancer screening within the previous four years. Study participants were given instructions on how to use screening kits for HPV and other sexually transmitted infections, and they also submitted self-collected screening samples for testing in a clinic and had pelvic exams and Pap smears.

According to the researchers, self-collected and clinician-collected test results were similarly effective at identifying high-risk HPV infection, and all women who were found to have high-grade cervical lesions by Pap smear or cervical biopsy had tested positive for high-risk HPV using the mail-in tests.

Sourced from: Obstetrics & Gynecology