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Home smear tests: Dr Sarah Hillman comments

Women are going to be offered home smear tests in an effort to tackle cervical cancer -- see the story on BBC News. Dr Sarah Hillman, a practising GP and clinical lecturer at Warwick Medical School, comments on the news:

“The rates of women attending for cervical smears in recent years has declined, compounded now by the effects of the COVID19 pandemic. We know that women who don’t attend for screening are at higher risk of changes that can lead to cervical cancer.

"The 'youscreen' trial is an incredibly important trial looking at the use of self sampling using a vaginal swab and will be offered to women that have not attended for a smear test. The screening test will look for the virus HPV (the virus that leads to cervical cell changes). A test that can be done at home, at a time of a woman’s choosing, and negating the need for a pelvic examination, would be an incredibly important step in not only making sure uptake of cervical screening is better but ultimately that more women have early changes detected earlier and women’s lives are saved from cervical cancer.”

24 February 2021

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