Screening to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Traditionally, cervical cancer screening has been managed for decades by cervical cytology test or Pap test (Pap smear). In countries that have adequate screening campaigns with cervical cytology, there has been a significant decrease in the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer. This is due to the detection of precursor and preinvasive lesions, dysplasia or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in which early diagnosis offers the possibility of successful treatment at a lower cost, both socially and for health services. ¬†At present, there has been a great development in the field. Since the early 80’s it is known that the HPV is associated with cervical and uterine cancer, and because of this, a complementary test to Pap smear, the Hybrid Capture test or HPV DNA has been created to identifies the virus by nucleic acid (DNA) and can tell if a person is infected.

The Hybrid Capture or HPV test is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This test detects a total of 13 types of HPV and identify high-risk women who are at increased risk of developing cervical lesions or cancer. The test has a sensitivity of 98% for high-grade cervical lesions and cancer.

The process involves introducing a small tube with a brush to collect cells from the cervix. After taking the sample, it is sent to a laboratory for analysis. “It’s a very easy and painless test because it simply takes cells from the cervix”.

The Hybrid Capture test is done in women aged 35-64 years old. That is, women in the natural history of disease are at increased risk of developing an persistent infection. Cervical cancer takes many years to develop. This is why testing women over 35 years is more effective.

Women should not die for this cause, because there is evidence to prevent it. Studies show that one test in your life, may decrease between 25 and 36% the risk of cervical cancer. It is important to be aware that it is a right to health care that is available.


Cervical Cancer Screening: Pap test & HPV test –