A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine announced that a new technology has improved the diagnosis of cervical cancer by detecting the prescence of human papillova virus (HPV). The accuracy of the diagnosis was twice as accurate as the standard Pap Smear test.
According to researches at McGill University in Montreal, the new test spotted 95% of the cancers compared to only 55% on the Pap test. The Pap smear is a scraping of cervical cells that is examined under the microscope and is prone to human experience. Whereas the HPV test, which also uses scrapings of cervical cells, but is placed into a more traditional lab machine with automatic readouts.
This HPV test has actually been around since 2000. It is gaining popularity and should become universal since the latest study. Of course, the source of the test still must come from cervical scrapings - which means that you still have to undergo the Pap Smear procedure anyway.
At least it is a good add-on for the Pap test and can only help.
Although our focus is on migraine headaces, we still must remain vigilant for other maladies that may strike women as well.
Andrew Jones, M.D.
Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas