Policy briefing

How to advise women about the new cervical screening test

Hundreds more lives in the UK could be saved with the introduction of a more sensitive cervical screening test, which can spot infections earlier
Picture shows computer artwork of human papilloma virus particles in the bloodstream. A more sensitive cervical screening test rolled out across the UK means infections will be spotted earlier

Hundreds more lives in the UK could be saved with the introduction of a more sensitive cervical screening test, which can spot infections earlier

Essential information

There are 2,500 new cases of cervical cancer in England every year, mainly affecting sexually active women aged 30-45. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed on through any type of sexual contact.

There are more than 100 types of HPV, many of which are harmless, but 14 types can cause cervical cancer as well as some head and neck cancers. Over the past ten years there has been a worrying decline in the number of women taking up offers of cervical screening, according to the charity

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