Molecular technologies target HPV testing in fight against cervical cancer

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada,1 in 150 women are expected to develop cervical cancer during her lifetime.

The good news is that the rates of this cancer have been falling for decades, which public health officials attribute to increased use of the Pap smear test. That has been the chief way of detecting pre-invasive lesions. Now, newer molecular technologies are showing even more promise for enhancing current screening, including mRNA and DNA tests for HPV, the virus that’s the main precursor for cervical cancer. In essence, HPV tests screen for thepresence of the virus. A Pap test looks for cellular changes caused by the virus, which can lead to cancer. Cancer experts say an effective screening strategy will combine both to maximize their benefits.


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