New Study: Urine Samples can Detect HPV
A simple urine test for the virus that causes cervical cancer could offer a less invasive and more acceptable alternative to the conventional cervical smear test. For years now, studies have been exploring different ways not only to prevent cervical cancer in younger girls through vaccines, but early detection methods as well. The sooner we know that cancer cells are present, the more likely it is for treatment to be successful. If you’d like to make sure for yourself, you could purchase a urine test cup and send it off to be tested with your nearest health service.
Now it may be as simple as a urine test to see if your body is showing traces or potentially anything leading to HPV. Compared with cervical smear samples, urine HPV testing had an overall sensitivity (the proportion of positives correctly identified) of 87 percent, and a specificity (the proportion of negatives correctly identified) of 94%. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, with up to 80% of sexually active women infected at some point in their lives.
Infections with specific high risk strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer, which kills around 266,000 women a year globally, according to the World Health Organization. By far, the vast majority of cervical cancer deaths are in poorer countries where access to screening and prevention methods is less widely available.