A large-scale real-life study confirms the interest of spacing out screening examinations.
Screening for cervical cancer, which is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, was completely overhauled in 2019. It is now recommended for women aged 30 to 64 every five years, in the part of a national program aimed at reaching as many patients as possible.
This calendar is backed up on Tuesday 31 May by a study of the British Medical Journal showing, for the first time in real life, that the protection is maintained very well for five years after a negative HPV test. While most HPV infections are eliminated naturally by the immune system, a small number manage to resist, and can cause the development of abnormal cells that can degenerate into cancer after about fifteen years.
In their study, the researchers measured the rate of precancerous lesions and cancers diagnosed between 2013 and 2019 in a population of 1.3 million women screened in England. “They also confirm that the HPV test is…