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 Post subject: DNA Test Outperforms Pap Smear
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:24 am 
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DNA Test Outperforms Pap Smear

A new DNA test for the virus that causes cervical cancer does so much better than current methods that some gynecologists hope it will eventually replace the Pap smear in wealthy countries and cruder tests in poor ones.

HPV Screening for Cervical Cancer in Rural India (The New England Journal of Medicine) Not only could the new test for human papillomavirus, or HPV, save lives; scientists say that women over 30 could drop annual Pap smears and instead have the DNA test just once every 3, 5 or even 10 years, depending on which expert is asked.

Their optimism is based on an eight-year study of 130,000 women in India financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine. It is the first to show that a single screening with the DNA test beats all other methods at preventing advanced cancer and death.

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