A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Health - DNA Test For Cervical Cancer

Via Raw Story, AFP tells us:
Cervical cancer kills more than one quarter of a million women worldwide each year.
I do understand the foofaraw about Gardasil, the vaccine against cervical cancer. It's most effective if administered before a woman becomes sexually active, and girls as young as 12 and 13 are often sexually active. Which means they need to be vaccinated before puberty - age 10 or 11 - and if I had a girl child, I'd worry about unknown side effects in later years.

However, today's news is GOOD news! Cheerful, even. The HPV screening test for cervical cancer is far more accurate than Pap smears, and may soon replace the Pap altogether.
The first round of the Canadian Cervical Cancer Screening Trial, led by Eduardo Franco, Director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology at McGill's Faculty of Medicine, put the HPV test's accuracy in detecting pre-cancerous lesions at 94.6 percent, compared to 55.4 for the Pap test.
Before you rush out and celebrate, though, it still involves collecting cervical cells. So you still have to go through the revolting "knees up, Mother Brown" spread 'em and wait for the cold speculum. On the plus side, instead of getting dubious results like "abnormal cells," you're much more likely to get a "ya got it" or "ya don't got it."

Well worth the discomfort, I should think.

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