TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Two extra steps may improve the accuracy of cervical cancer screening, a new study claims.
A Pap smear is the standard test, but findings in the Jan. 13 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute call for patients to get human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing first and then again after the Pap smear if they have HPV infections.
The study, led by Dr. Joakim Dillner of Lund University in Sweden, found this screening approach improved detection of precancerous growths with minimal increase in false-positive tests.
In tests done on more than 6,200 women, those found to have HPV infections through the primary screening went on to have a standard Pap test; those with normal Pap smears were given a repeat HPV DNA test at least one year later. The method found 30 percent more cases of cervical cancer, but with only 12 percent more tests required.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about cervical cancer.
SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, Jan. 13, 2009