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Home HPV tests 'could raise cervical screening uptake'
Home testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) could increase the uptake of cervical screening, new research has revealed.
According to Cancer Research UK, an alarming number of women still do not respond to screening invitations.
The research, which was published in the British Journal of Cancer, looked at 3,000 women who had failed to attend at least two screenings.
Half were invited for another screening, while half were sent HPV home testing kits.
Just over ten per cent of the women who received a test responded in some way, with 6.4 per cent doing the self-sample and 3.8 per cent booking a screening appointment.
In the other group, 4.5 per cent underwent a smear test after receiving a third invitation.
Lead study author Dr Anne Szarewski, a Cancer Research UK cervical cancer expert, said: "Women who don't go for cervical screening face a higher risk of cervical cancer so it’s important to encourage these women to take part.
"HPV self-sampling could be an effective way of getting women to be screened."
Data published by the UK's NHS at the beginning of the year revealed more than 84 per cent of 13- and 14-year-old girls have now received all three doses of the HPV vaccine.
Posted by Martine Ward