Self-sampling identifies more women at risk of developing cervical cancer


By using self-sampling followed by HPV test more than twice as many women that risk developing cervical cancer could be identified and offered preventive treatment. This is shown in a study by Ulf Gyllensten’s research group, published in British Journal of Cancer.

Screening for cervical cancer has for a long time been based on sampling of cells for cytology. Initially this method reduced the number of cervical cancer cases but since then it has been difficult to obtain additional efficacy using this method.

In the new study the researchers compared the screening method that is used today, which is based on cytology and sampling at a midwife clinic, with a method where the woman takes a sample herself and sends it for analysis of human papilloma virus (HPV), which is the cause of cervical cancer.

The results show that with self-sampling followed by HPV-testing more than twice as many women could be identified that are at risk for developing cervical cancer. At the same time the total cost for the cervical cancer screening programme could be reduced by half. Screening based on self-sampling also makes it possible to reach women that choose not to participate in cell sampling at a midwife clinic.

More information:
Press release from Uppsala University (in Swedish)
Article in British Journal of Cancer
Ulf Gyllensten’s research