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Cervical screening: study “strongly supports” extending interval to five years

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 07 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l597

Linked Research

Primary cervical screening with high risk human papillomavirus testing

  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. BMJ

Screening for high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection works well in practice and is more sensitive than cytology testing, a pilot study of more than half a million women has found.

The findings support a switch to HPV screening across England and provide reassurance that screening intervals could be safely extended to at least five years, without increasing the risk of potentially life threatening disease, say the researchers in The BMJ.1

At present, 2500 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in England, a quarter after a “normal” smear test result.

Clinical trials show that high risk HPV screening …

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