A HPV test is more effective than pap smear in detecting cervical cancer in women over 30-years, according to researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.
Researchers randomly assigned a group of women aged 29-56 years who received a HPV test as well as a pap smear; while the second group, received only a pap smear.Â 5-years later, both groups had HPV tests and pap smears.
It was found that a HPV test together with a Pap smear resulted in earlier detection of precancerous lesions and prevented more cervical cancers from developing. Dual screening (HPV test and Pap Smear) detected 25% more potentially cancerous lesions than the just the Pap test. 5-years later, those who had had the dual screening had fewer cancers.
However, experts have warned that the test may also pick up many HPV infections that would resolve on their own, without causing cancer.
The study has been published in the Lancet Oncology journal.